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Cannes Deal UPDATE: Sony Pictures Classics Gobbles Up 'The Lunch Box,' Critics Week Audience Winner

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood May 24, 2013 at 12:58PM

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra's "The Lunchbox," starring Irrfhan Khan ("The Life of Pi"). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d'Or, at Cannes Critics Week.
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"The Lunch Box"
"The Lunch Box"
-Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American distribution rights to Ritesh Batra's "The Lunchbox," starring Irrfhan Khan ("The Life of Pi"). The film centers on a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system, and the budding relationship between a young housewife and an older stranger that this mix-up brings. The film won the Viewers Choice Award, the Rail d'Or, at Cannes Critics Week. (You can read more about the recently announced Cannes prizes here.)

-Earlier, SPC won US rights to "The Past," the new film by Asghar Farhadi (director of 2012 Best Foreign Language Oscar winner "A Separation") starring Tahar Rahim, Berenice Bejo and Ali Mosaffa. The film, which centers on the complex divorce between a French woman and an Iranian man, premiered in competition at the festival on May 17, and has garnered rave reviews. (TOH! "A Separation" Q & A with Farhadi here; Anthony Kaufman discusses "The Past" as Palme d'Or frontrunner here.)

-In its fourth acquistion deal of the fest, Sundance Selects has snapped up North American rights to "The Selfish Giant," the winner of the Europa Cinemas Label Prize for Best European Film at Directors Fortnight. Directed by Clio Barnard, it is based on the Oscar Wilde short story focused on the friendship between two boys. It

-Sundance Selects has also picked up U.S. rights to writer-director François Ozon's competition drama "Young & Beautiful" from Wild Bunch. The coming-of-age film, which received mixed festival reaction, stars Marine Vacth, Geraldine Pailhas, Frederic Pierrot, Fantin Ravat, Johan Leysen and Charlotte Rampling, who also starred in Ozon’s 2003 competition film "Swimming Pool." Sundance Selects’ sister label IFC Films previously released Ozon 's "Angel" and "Ricky."

Young & Beautiful
Young & Beautiful

Additionally, Sundance Selects took US rights to Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue Is the Warmest Color," which made its world premiere in competition at the fest this week. The film centers on a lesbian romance between two teenage girls, played by Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos. It is loosely based on Julie Maroh's comic book of the same title. Kechice has previously won Cesars for "The Secret of the Grain" and "Games of Love and Chance." Sundance Selects also acquired U.S. rights to Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s upcoming "Two Days, One Night," starring Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, which is currently in pre-production.

-Lionsgate has snapped up US rights to Guillaume Canet's "Blood Ties," starring actress and Canet's wife Marion Cotillard, Clive Owen, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Matthias Schoenaerts and James Caan. It is co-written by Canet and director James Gray (who has "The Immigrant," also starring Cotillard, in competition at the fest) and centers on one family's legacy of crime in the 1970s. The film premiered last week at Cannes, and Lionsgate will distribute through its sister company, Roadside Attractions. Watch the trailer below.

"Blue Is the Warmest Color."
"Blue Is the Warmest Color."

-Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Alain Guiraudie's "Stranger at the Lake," which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section. The erotic thriller follows a young man attracted to another man who may be a killer; the film is set against the backdrop of a gay cruising beach. Pierre Deladonchamps and Christophe Paou star.

This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival, Asghar Farhadi, Sony Pictures Classics, Festivals, Video, Zhang Ke Jia, Kino Lorber


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.