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SPC Nabs Cannes Pic Life, Above All

Thompson on Hollywood By Cameron Carlson | Thompson on Hollywood June 28, 2010 at 6:28AM

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up Oliver Schmitz's Life, Above All, winner of the Cannes Fest Francois Chalais Prize. The South African director is known for Mapantsula and his recent contribution to Paris, je t'aime. Life, Above All is based on Allon Stratton's young adult novel, Chanda's Secrets.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up Oliver Schmitz's Life, Above All, winner of the Cannes Fest Francois Chalais Prize. The South African director is known for Mapantsula and his recent contribution to Paris, je t'aime. Life, Above All is based on Allon Stratton's young adult novel, Chanda's Secrets.

The film follows a young African girl who struggles to hold her family together through death and tragedy. SPC acquired the pic from Munich's Bavaria Film International, from whom they had also bought Run Lola Run and Good Bye, Lenin!.

Thompson on Hollywood

Look for SPC to chase awards for the film; the distrib is usually a factor in the foreign Oscar race. It's reassuring that a subsidiary of the company trying to turn every entertainment experience into a 3-D spectacle still cares about supporting art films that tackle non-comic book topics like HIV in poverty-ridden sub-Saharan Africa.

[Photos: Khomotso Manyaka, Oliver Schmitz]

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


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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.