NEW YORK — IFC Films has snapped up domestic rights to “Manderlay” — Lars von Trier’s controversial follow-up to “Dogville” — and Danish helmer Susanne Bier’s “After the Wedding.”
Both pics were picked up from sales banner Trust Films during talks in Cannes. “Manderlay” preemed in Cannes competition, while the in-production “Wedding” is lensing in India and Denmark.
The second installment of writer-helmer von Trier’s planned “USA — Land of Opportunities” trilogy, which began with the Nicole Kidman starrer “Dogville,” “Manderlay” created controversy in Cannes.
Pic follows Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) as she leaves the town of Dogville for Alabama, where she encounters a group of slaves on the Manderlay plantation who should have been emancipated 70 years earlier.
Willem Dafoe, Chloe Sevigny, Danny Glover and Lauren Bacall also star.
Bier’s “Wedding,” penned by Anders Thomas Jensen (“Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself”), follows the manager of an orphanage (Mads Mikkelsen) in Denmark who is sent to Copenhagen, where he discovers a life-altering family secret.
“I was confounded by some of the reactions (“Manderlay”) received at Cannes from some very important American critics,” Jonathan Sehring said. “To take issue with von Trier’s observations on slavery and racism in the U.S. is to turn a blind eye to the racial problems which still exist in our country today.”
IFC already has another unreleased, controversial pic that tackles race relations in the U.S., “CSA: The Confederate States of America,” as well as a pic about gun control, the ensemble drama “American Gun.”
IFC released Bier’s previous pic, “Brothers,” in partnership with Focus Features.
Company’s IFC Center in Manhattan is poised to open with the rollout of Miranda July’s “Me and You and Everyone We Know” on June 17.