Lebanese actor/director Nadine Labaki came out of nowhere recently and took home the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at TIFF for her comedy “Where Do We Go Now?” While the film was without a U.S. distributor at the time, a big, unexpected win like that meant someone would swoop down in no time and that’s indeed the case as Sony Pictures Classics is reuniting with Pathe Pictures to acquire the pic for North America.
Winning the Audience Award in Toronto is typically a great omen as “The King’s Speech,” “Precious” and “Slumdog Millionaire” all rode that momentum to great Oscar success. Our man at Cannes found Labaki’s film a “pretty conventional and predictably quirky piece of work” but we suppose the crowd-pleaser has hit home with audiences, leading it also to win the Best European Film award at the 2011 San Sebastian Film Festival and to become Lebanon’s entry for 2012’s Oscars.
Set in a remote village where a church and a mosque stand side by side, the film “follows the antics of the town’s women to keep their blowhard men from starting a religious war. Women heartsick over sons, husbands and fathers lost to previous flare-ups unite to distract their men with clever ruses, from faking a miracle to hiring a troop of Ukrainian strippers.”
No word yet on the distribution plan but helmer Labaki certainly sounds over the moon about the acquisition. “To be added to this list of highly distinguished filmmakers supported by Sony Classics is an achievement in itself for me,” she revealed. “I am proud and honored to say that I have become now part of the very prestigious Sony Classics family.” Here’s a trailer for the film which was unveiled during TIFF.