By Brian Brooks | Indiewire July 26, 2011 at 9:54AM
U.S. rights to director Nanni Moretti's Cannes 2011 feature "Habemus Papam" have been picked up by Sundance Selects. Starring Michel Piccoli as a hesitant fictious pope, the film also stars Moretti and will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival as a Special Presentation.
Full release follows:
Sundance Selects announced today that the company is acquiring U.S. rights to director Nanni Moretti’s (Palme d'Or winner THE SON’S ROOM, DEAR DIARY) comedic drama HABEMUS PAPAM. Moretti produced the film with Domenico Procacci (GOMORRAH, QUIET CHAOS) and co-wrote the film with Francesco Piccolo and Federica Pontremoli. He also stars in it alongside veteran actor Michel Piccoli (CONTEMPT, THE DISCREET CHARM OF THE BOURGEOISIE) and Jerzy Stuhr. HABEMUS PAPAM had its premiere at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival in competition. It will next screen at the Toronto International Film Festival as a Special Presentation in September.
In HABEMUS PAPAM, the newly elected Pope (Piccoli) suffers a panic attack just as he is due to appear on St Peter’s balcony to greet the faithful, who have been patiently awaiting the conclave’s decision. His advisors, unable to convince him he is the right man for the job, seek help from a renowned psychoanalyst and atheist (Moretti). But his fear of the responsibility suddenly thrust upon him is one that he must face on his own.
Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said: "HABEMUS PAPAM is masterfully directed by Nanni Moretti with equal measures of poignancy and comedy. The always fantastic Michel Piccoli gives one of his finest performances in this film. We couldn't be happier to be working with not only Nanni Moretti but also to continue our relationship with Domenico Procacci and Janine Gold of Fandango Portobello after our release of GOMORRAH, QUIET CHAOS and the upcoming THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD."
The deal for HABEMUS PAPAM was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Productions Sundance Selects/IFC Films with Janine Gold of Fandango Portobello on behalf of the filmmakers.
Sundance Selects is a sister division to IFC Films and IFC Midnight, and is owned and operated by AMC Networks, Inc.