Wild Tales Cannes 2014

In one of the high-profile deals announced early during Cannes, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North America and Australia/New Zealand rights to Damian Szifron’s buzzed-up Cannes Competion entry “Wild Tales.”

Spain’s Film Factory is selling “Wild Tales” at Cannes.

Directed by Damian Szifron, “Wild Tales” was described by Cannes Festival chief Thierry Fremaux as a “very unique, personal and different cinema that should wake up the Croisette.”

“Wild Tales” is written and directed by Argentinean filmmaker Damian Szifron and produced by Hugo Sigman, Pedro Almodovar and Agustin Almodovar, with Matias Mosteirin and Esther Garcia executive producing.

Szifron is best known for a TV series Los Simuladores (“The Pretenders”), produced for Argentine broadcaster Telefe and remade for Mexico’s Televisa by Sony Pictures Television Intl. He broke through to critical attention with 2003’s “Bottom of the Sea,” a tale of obsessive jealousy. 2005’s “On Probation,” a cop-psychiatrist buddy movie, became a cult item, but saw limited sales abroad.

Made up of six stories, “Wild Tales” turns on the contemporary world’s drive for success, the adrenaline-kick, vertigo, competition, causing people to stress out or be depressed. Some burst. “Wild Tales” is about them: a fresco of rage, fury, deception, revenge.

“Wild Tales” also marks a significant step-up in budget, production values and cast for Szifron, starring many of Argentina’s most admired and best-known actors, led by Ricardo Darin, the lead in Juan Jose Campanella’s Oscar-winning “The Secret in Their Eyes.”

Also in the cast: Oscar Martinez (“Empty Nest”), Leonardo Sbaraglia (“Red Lights,” “King of the Hill”), Erica Rivas (“Tetro”), Rita Cortese (“The Inheritance”), Julieta Zylberberg (“The Invisible Eye”)and Dario Grandinetti (“Talk To Her”).

Argentine Double Academy Award winner Gustavo Santaolalla (“Babel,” “Brokeback Mountain”) composed the score.

“Wild Tales’ is electrifying a film as they come. It is with tremendous excitement that we join our dear friends Pedro, Agustin, Esther, Barbara and the entire El Deseo team, along with Hugo, Matias and K& S and Vicente Canales to introduce the wild and wacky world of Damian Szifron to the American Audience,” said Sony Pictures Classics.

The Sony Pictures Classics acquisition is the second significant recent Hollywood studio deal on “Wild Tales,” confirming its status as one of Cannes’ breakout sales titles. Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. – which rarely picks up foreign-language films – closed France a few weeks before Cannes, having already acquired rights to Spain and Latin America.

“We always believed in Kramer Sigman that ‘Wild Tales’ has a universal message and this agreement with Sony Pictures Classics confirms this idea,” said K & S founder Hugo Sigman.

“We are very happy Sony Pictures Classics is taking care of ‘Wild Tales” U.S. distribution. After so many years working together, we have no doubt they will be the best bridge between the American audience and Daniel Szifron’s film, as they’ve been with our films before,” said Agustin and Pedro Almodovar.

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