VENICE, Italy — Italy’s Lucky Red has scooped Italian rights to Lebanese director Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult,” which is turning out to be one of the early standout titles in the Venice Film Festival competition, with distribution deals now in place for the U.S. and several European markets.
Cohen Media Group, which is a co-producer on the pic, has acquired North American distribution rights in a previously announced deal. Diaphana Distribution has picked up rights for France, and Cineart for Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
“Everyone who saw this film has been telling me how great it is, so I went ahead and took it,” said Lucky Red chief Andrea Occhipinti, who purchased the highly political courtroom thriller from Nicolas Eschbach’s Paris-based Indie Sales on Saturday.
In “The Insult,” a single slur pits a belligerent Lebanese Christian auto mechanic against an older Palestinian Muslim and flares into a court case that divides national Lebanese opinion.
“Being Mediterranean, this crazy kind of animosity is something we can really understand,” Occhipinti noted. “I also love the way the film melds the procedural narrative structure with its complex politics.”
Lucky Red previously handled Italian distribution on Doueiri’s Lebanon civil war-themed “West Beirut.”