Paladin and 108 Media have acquired all North American rights to Michel Gondry's “The We and the I” at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film had its North American premiere Friday. First screend at Cannes in May, “The We and the I” will open in theaters in New York and Toronto in March.
The acquisition is the first since the two companies formed a new distribution partnership in August.
Set on the last day of the school year, “The We and the I” follows a group of Bronx high school students riding a city bus on their way home as they interact with each other and expose their relationships, hardships and ambitions. Gondry, who workshopped the project with students at a Bronx after-school arts program, wrote the screenplay with Jeffrey Grimshaw and Paul Proch.
"We are honored and thrilled to be working with Michel Gondry and his team on this totally one-of-a-kind film,” said Paladin president Mark Urman. “Rarely have I seen the energy, anarchy, and enthusiasm of teenagers rendered with so much authenticity and accuracy and with so little moralizing or condescension."
108 CEO Abhi Rastogi added: "This is exactly the kind of film we are looking to distribute — one that combines excellence with entertainment value, and a fresh, distinctive point of view."
Urman and Rastogi negotiated the deal with WME Global, which reps Gondry, and producers Georges Bermann, Juie Fong and Raffi Adlan. Kinology is handling international rights to the film.
The Gondry film joins five others on the 108-Paladin slate, including the documentary "Buffalo Girls," which will open in New York and Los Angeles in December.