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Valeska Grisebach’s ‘Western’ Acquired by Cinema Guild (EXCLUSIVE)

Cinema Guild has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Valeska Grisebach’s thriller “Western,” which premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cinema Guild will release “Western” theatrically in early 2018. The movie is the third feature film from German filmmaker Grisebach following “Be My Star” and “Longing.”

“Western” was produced by German distributor Komplizen Film, which produced last year’s Academy Award nominee “Toni Erdmann.” Producers are Maren Ade, Jonas Dornbach, Valeska Grisebach, Janine Jackowski and Michel Merkt.

“Western” follows a group of German construction workers installing a hydroelectric plant in remote rural Bulgaria. The foreign land awakens the men’s sense of adventure, but tensions mount when the strong, silent newcomer to the group starts mixing with the local villagers in a story of masculinity and xenophobia on the contemporary frontier of Eastern Europe. Meinhard Neumann is the lead actor.

Guy Lodge of Variety gave “Western” a strong review at Cannes: “Grisebach has an acute, intelligent ear for the micro-aggressions — some accidental, some deliberate, some not so micro — that can escalate into more heated cultural battles in this particular east-meets-west showdown, where even attempts at diplomacy are rife with opportunities for misunderstanding.”

Cinema Guild Director of Distribution Peter Kelly said, “Valeska Grisebach uses the tropes of the western genre to tell a story that resonates globally. ‘Western’ is a film that really stuck with us from the first time we saw it and we’re sure it will have a similar effect on audiences.”

The deal was negotiated by Kelly with Jean-Christophe Simon of Films Boutique.

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