Sony Pictures Classics catches ‘Hysteria’

U.S., South African rights nabbed to Victorian vibrator comedy

Sony Pictures Classics has closed its deal for U.S. and South African rights to “Hysteria,” centered on the invention of the vibrator in Victorian-era England.

Sony Classics made the announcement Thursday, six weeks after Cassian Elwes confirmed that he was in negotiations. “Hysteria” premiered on Sept. 15 at Toronto Intl. Film Festival following several press and industry showings.

IFC, Samuel Goldwyn and Millienium Entertainment also made bids on “Hysteria,” starring Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones and Rupert Everett. Pic, penned by Stephen Dyer and Jonah Lisa Dyer, is directed by Tanya Wexler.

“Hysteria” is produced by Informant Media and Forthcoming Films in association with Beachfront Films and Chimera Films. Producers are Sarah Curtis, Judy Cairo, Tracey Becker. Exec producers are Michael A. Simpsons, Eric Brenner, Ken Atchity, Sandra Siegel, Leo Joseph, Nathalie Joseph, Mark Kress, Hakan Kousetta, Claudia Blumhuber, Florian Dargel, Peter Fudakowski and Stephen Dyer.

Dancy and Pryce star as doctors in London treating cases of hysteria, a condition said to be characterized at the time by a woman’s irritability, anger or unexplained tears. Dancy’s character and his best friend, portrayed by Everett, experiment with a new electrical device for treatment for the ailment. Gyllenhaal portrays the daughter of Pryce’s character.

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