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TIFF Pickups: Omar Sy’s ‘Samba’ Goes to Broad Green Pictures + Focus Takes ‘Ruth & Alex’ (Morgan Freeman)

TIFF Pickups: Omar Sy's 'Samba' Goes to Broad Green Pictures + Focus Takes 'Ruth & Alex' (Morgan Freeman)

2 TIFF pickups of films covered on this blog: 

First, Broad Green has taken US distribution rights to “Samba,” the latest dramedy from Frenchman Omar Sy, which made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film, directed by Sy’s “Intouchables” helmers – Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano – co-stars Charlotte Gainsbourg and Tahar Rahiin in a tale of a Senegalese worker who battles to stay in France with the help of an immigration worker.

Broad Green plans a second half 2015 release of the film, which might suggest they have awards aspirations for it, especially given how well it was received at TIFF. I’m surprised that The Weinstein Company didn’t take it, since they picked up Sy’s breakout film, “Intouchables,” and the film that came after that, “On the Other Side of the Tracks.”

Secondly, Focus World has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the Morgan Freeman/Diane Keaton dramedy, “Ruth & Alex,” which also premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Directed by Richard Loncraine from a screenplay by Charlie Peters, based on the novel “Heroic Measures” by the Jill Ciment, takes place over a weekend, as a couple (played by Freeman and Keaton) must decide on whether to sell the Brooklyn home they’ve lived in for 40 years, while dealing with their pushy realtor/niece, who is played by Cynthia Nixon. 

No announced release dates yet.

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