Sony Classics has acquired North American rights to Ken Loach’s period drama “Jimmy’s Hall,” two days before its world premiere in competition at Cannes.
Wild Bunch is selling the film at Cannes.
Production companies are Sixteen Films and Element Pictures with Rebecca O’Brien producing. Barry Ward, Simone Kirby and Andrew Scott star.
Loach’s longtime collaborator Paul Lavery wrote the script.
Irish actor Ward portrays Jimmy Gralton, an Irish political activist who built a dance hall for young people at a rural crossroads in Ireland in 1921. Gralton then spent 10 years in the U.S., returned in 1932 to his native Ireland to help his mother run the family farm and re-opened the hall.
Following a shooting at the hall in 1933, Gralton was arrested and later deported to the U.S., where he died in 1945.
Loach won the Palme d’Or for “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” in 2006. That film was set during the 1919-1923 period during Ireland’s war of independence and its civil war.
“Jimmy’s Hall” is the Cannes competition title acquired by Sony Classics in the past week following deals for Damian Szifron’s “Wild Tales” and Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent.”
News of the deal for “Jimmy’s Hall” was first reported by THR.com.