Distrib nabs Zhang's 'Woman,' Zbanic's 'Path'

MADRID — Spanish arthouse distrib Golem has picked up all rights to two Berlinale competish contenders, Zhang Yimou’s “A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop” and Jasmilla Zbanic’s “On the Path.”

Deals continue Golem’s long tradition of picking up titles from major fest-winning international auteurs. Both helmers have won Berlin Golden Bears in past years.

The deal for “Woman,” a remake of 1985 Coen brothers debut “Blood Simple,” was closed by Golem with Wild Bunch during last month’s Unifrance Paris Rendez-Vous.

It resumes an old relationship between Golem and the Chinese director, kicked off with Golem’s distribution of “Red Sorghum,” winner of a 1988 Golden Bear, and continued for near a decade, until Sony-Columbia started a production/distribution relationship with Zhang.

Golem also closed with Cologne sales agent The Match Factory for the acquisition of “Path.” The distrib had previously handled war drama “Grbavica,” with which the Bosnian helmer won the 2006 Golden Bear.

Departing from its usual practice, Golem signed both titles before they were finished.

“We still look for completed pics: That always give you more security,” said Golem general manager Josetxo Moreno. “But this is not a question of larger competition among Spanish arthouse distributors; we only try to stay loyal to our established helmers.”

Golem, which distribs around 18 films a year, plans a fall release for both pickups.

A Pamplona-based distrib, Golem also controls six multiplexes across Spain, including a five-screen complex in downtown Madrid, where it only screens subtitled pics.

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