CANNES: Warner Bros. Distribute ‘Wild Tales’

Multi-story movie marks step up in scale, cast for Szifron

MADRID – In a rare acquisition outside its core focus on upscale franchises – think “Harry Potter” and auteur blockbusters – think “Gravity” – Warner Bros. France has acquired all French rights to Cannes Competition player “Wild Tales,” co-produced by Argentina’s K & S and Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo and Warner Bros. Pictures International.

While unusual for WB France, the deal on “Wild Tales” is not unusual for Warner Bros. in general, being just the latest for the Warner Bros. Pictures International on “Wild Tales.” WBPI already has “Wild Tales” for Latin America. It will also distribute in Spain.

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.

“Damián Szifron is one of the most exciting filmmakers to emerge from the thriving filmmaking community in Argentina, and we are confident that his bold and entertaining new film will have universal appeal on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Monique Esclavissat, executive VP, Europe and Latin America distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures International.

“Wild Tales” will bow Aug.14 in Argentina, with other markets to follow.

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