Venice, Italy — Focus Features has acquired U.K. rights to Paolo Virzi’s “The Leisure Seeker,” a heartwarming drama starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland that is world premiering at Venice Film Festival and will then sail to Toronto.
Represented in international markets by Paris-based Bac Films, “The Leisure Seeker” has now sold out worldwide. Bac recently sold the movie to Gaga for Japan.
One of the most anticipated films playing at Venice, “The Leisure Seeker” follows a runaway couple (Mirren and Sutherland) who embark on a cross-country journey from Boston to the Florida Keys in their vintage camper to escape from the suffocating care of their doctors and grown children.
“The U.K. is a key territory in Europe, especially for a film like ‘The Leisure Seeker,’ which has a big potential, so it was crucial for us to find a very strong partner like Focus Features,” said Bac Films’s Marie Garrett, who negotiated the deal with Isabelle Stewart at Focus Features.
Sony Pictures Classics boarded the film a year ago when it was still in production and pre-bought the rights in U.S., Latin America, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Russia, South Korea, China, India, Southeast Asia (except Taiwan and Singapore) and South Africa.
Bac also pre-sold “The Leisure Seeker” to eOne (Canada, Australia and New Zealand), Imagine (Benelux), Concorde/Filmladen (Germany/Austria), Filmcoopi (Switzerland), Karma Films (Spain), Strada (Greece), Scanbox (Scandinavia), Lev Films (Israel), Falcon (Middle East), Filmarti (Turkey), Filmware (Taiwan), Singapore (Shaw) and Captive (airlines).
Bac Films head of sales Gilles Sousa, who handled Virzi’s two previous films, “Like Crazy” (which played at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight) and “Human Capital,” said “The Leisure Seeker” had lured so many buyers before it went into production thanks to the whole package. “The casting of Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland, the emotional script, the colorful cross-country backdrop and Virzi’s proven talent in dealing with serious subjects with lightness and humor attracted buyers at a very early stage,” said Sousa.
Shot entirely in the U.S., “The Leisure Seeker” will have its North American premiere at Toronto in the Gala section, and will also play at the San Sebastian festival in Spain in a couple weeks.
“The Leisure Seeker” was produced by Indiana Production and Rai Cinema, in association with Bac Films.