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Festival Deals: Swanberg’s ‘Unexpected,’ Fontaine’s ‘Innocent,’ Muylaert’s ‘Second Mother’

Festival Deals: Swanberg's 'Unexpected,' Fontaine's 'Innocent,' Muylaert’s 'Second Mother'

A trio of wildly disparate women-directed films have recently found distribution at Sundance and Berlin. 

Kris Swanberg’s “Unexpected” has been picked up for US distribution by Film Arcade. Starring Cobie Smulders (“How I Met Your Mother,” “The Avengers”), the drama focuses on the burgeoning relationship between an inner-city high-school teacher (played by Smulders) and one of her students when they become pregnant around the same time. Written by Swanberg and Megan Mercier, “Unexpected” will be released this summer.

Far from completed but already purchased is Anne Fontaine’s next film, the French-Polish co-production “Innocent.” Film Distribution has picked up international rights to the film, which will star Agata Kulesza (Aunt Wanda from “Ida”). Based on true events, the film will take place in 1945 Poland, where a young French Red Cross intern discovers a group of pregnant nuns who were mass-raped by the Russian army. Kulesza will play one of the nuns. 

Exploring a rarely represented mother-daughter relationship is Brazilian director Anna Muylaert’s “The Second Mother,” a dramedy that focuses on a live-in maid and her tense relationship with her no-nonsense, ultra-smart daughter who inadvertently creates tension at her mother’s home/workplace when she gets into an elite architecture school — and the rich son of her mothers’ employers does not. Oscilloscope will distribute the film (in the US), though no date is yet set. 

[via Variety, Screen Daily, Variety]

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