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Fest Buyer Sony Pictures Classics Heads to the Middle East (VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 16, 2012 at 5:02PM

Sony Pictures Classics has always leaned heavily on foreign acquisitions in advance of the awards season. Michael Barker and Tom Bernard are often betting on the likely submissions for the best foreign film entry, and can be counted upon to wind up with more than one in the final five. At the same time they can't handle too many movies at once, so they must pick well.

“I come from a small town in Saudi Arabia, a country where showing movies in public is illegal," says Haifaa Al-Mansour. "To write and direct the first film ever to be shot inside Saudi Arabia, with one of the leading companies in Europe, Razor Films, was beyond my wildest dreams. To premiere my film at the Venice Film Festival was even more incredible, and now to have Sony Classics bring the film to North America, the place from where I first saw the power and emotional possibilities of film, is beyond anything I ever could have imagined.”

"'Wadjda' captivated audiences in Telluride in a spectacular, richly rewarding way," stated SPC. "For the first time we are seeing a movie from that part of the world, and it's a great movie."

The film will open in 2013. SPC also worked with Razor Films and producers Roman Paul and Gerhard Meixner on animated doc "Waltz with Bashir."

This article is related to: Festivals, Festivals, Sony Pictures Classics, Sony/Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Classics, Academy Awards, Awards, Awards, Oscars

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