Studio snaps up Cannes champ

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired domestic rights and three international territories for Laurent Cantet’s “The Class,” the Palme d’Or winner at this year’s Cannes fest.

Realistic story follows a junior high class over the course of a year as it tests its teacher’s methods. The movie is based on Francois Begaudeau’s book “Entre les murs.”

“I don’t think the energy that can exist between a student and a teacher has ever been captured on film this well before,” Sony co-prexy Michael Barker said. Deal was consummated post-Cannes, with several bidders rumored to be vying for the title. Barker says pic will debut before the end of the year for awards consideration, with a platform release to follow. The international territories picked up are Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.

“The film we wanted to make was supposed to look like French society: multifaceted, lively and complex, with conflicts that the film was not going to try to gloss over,” Cantet said at Cannes.

Pic is produced by Haut et Court producers Carole Scotta and Caroline Benjo, who have worked with the helmer since his 1999 debut, “Human Resources.” Haut et Court last pacted with Sony Classics for Alain Berliner’s “Ma vie en rose” in 1997.

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