Buyers dig ‘The Band’s Visit’

Israeli pic sells to several territories

CANNES — Israeli film “The Band’s Visit” has set off a buyer’s frenzy following a 15-minute standing ovation at the end of Saturday’s official screening.

Ehud Bleiberg, chairman and CEO of Bleiberg Entertainment, announced that rights have been sold to Italy’s Mikado, Spain’s Manga, Madman in Australia and New Zealand, Audio Visual in Greece and Xenix in Switzerland. Swen-Brazil has bought the rights to all Latin American territories. U.K. and U.S. rights remain available.

Helmer Eran Kolirin’s film tells the story of an Egyptian police band that gets lost on its way to a music festival in Israel and end up stranded in a remote village .

Kolirin had previously spoken of his wish to have the film screened at Cairo’s international film festival. That seems unlikely given political touchiness of peace deal between Israel and Egypt amongst rank-and-file Egyptians.

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