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Zeitgeist Takes US Rights for Noirish Cannes Winner “Elena” Out of Toronto

Zeitgeist Takes US Rights for Noirish Cannes Winner "Elena" Out of Toronto

Zeitgeist has announced that it has acquired “Elena,” the latest from Andrei Zvyagintsev, which won a Special Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section.

The noir thriller tells the story of Elena, an older woman, and her husband Vladmir. Earlier, Elena was Vladmir’s nurse, and now they sleep in separate beds. After Vladmir reconciles with his long-estranged daughter, Elena must work against the wishes of husband to have his riches for herself and her son.

The film has its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, happening now. Zeitgeist plans to release the film theatrically in May 2012.

Go here for indieWIRE’s review.

The full release follows.


Zeitgeist Films announced today that they have acquired U.S. rights from Pyramide International to Russian maestro Andrei Zvyagintsev’s ELENA. ELENA, which won a Special Grand Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section in Cannes, is having its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this week.

A classic noir thriller in the tradition of writer James M. Cain, ELENA is the gripping tale of the sixty-ish, uneducated Elena and her older, wealthy husband Vladmir. Married after she was his nurse, they no longer share a bed. Estranged from his own reckless daughter, Vladmir coldly despises his wife’s ne’er-do-well, debt-ridden son. But Vladmir’s sudden reconciliation with his daughter dashes Elena’s hopes to help her beloved son financially, and the shy and submissive housewife concocts a desperate plan to give him a real chance at life. ELENA also features an evocative score by Philip Glass.

ELENA is Zvyagintsev’s third theatrical feature after THE RETURN (2003) and THE BANISHMENT (2007). THE RETURN was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film.

Zeitgeist co-presidents Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo ‘were kept up at night after seeing ELENA. Not only does it have brilliant acting, pacing and cinematography but the story is a classic, unforgettable.’ A May 2012 release in planned.

Zeitgeist’s most recent films were BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK, one of the highest grossing documentaries of the year and QUEEN TO PLAY, both now on DVD and Digital. Their upcoming slate includes PAUL GOODMAN CHANGED MY LIFE and Gianni Di Gregorio’s THE SALT OF LIFE.

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