Film unit nabs Soderbergh's two-part drama

IFC Films has picked up all North American distribution rights to Steven Soderbergh’s two-part “Che,” starring Benicio Del Toro, after Soderbergh tweaked and trimmed the two companion films post-Cannes.

IFC will release the epic Che Guevera biopic–which screened at the Toronto Film Fest this week–for a one-week qualifying awards run in December. Companion films will play in New York and Los Angeles.

In January, “Che” will be released through IFC In Theaters, the company’s day-and-date distribution platform, meaning the biopic will be available at the same time in theaters and via video-on-demand. It also will be funneled through IFC’s exclusive video rental deal with Blockbuster Video.

“Che,” which also plays at the upcoming New York Film Festival, was produced by Laura Bickford and penned by Peter Buchman. Wild Bunch is repping the film.

“‘Che’ is nothing less than the film event of the year. By giving us the rise and fall of one of the great icons of history, Steven Soderbergh and Benicio Del Toro…have humanized him and given audiences around the world something that will be discussed for years to come,” IFC prexy Jonathan Sehring said.

Deal was negotiated by Sehring, IFC VP of acquisitions and production Arianna Bocco, IFC senior counsel Betsy Rodgers with Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval, Agnes Mentre, Laurent Baudens and Pierre Selinger.

 After “Che” debuted to mixed reaction at Cannes, Soderbergh’s ambitious project was expected to go to Magnolia for domestic release.

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