Sony Classics Finds Place For ‘Sun’

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all U.S. rights to “Burnt by the Sun,” Nikita Mikhalkov’s grand jury prize-winner at the Cannes film fest and a good bet for a foreign language Oscar nom.

“Burnt” is Russia’s official entry in the race for a nomination.

The deal was negotiated for SPC by co-presidents Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom. On the other side were associate producers Michel Seydoux and Claudie Cheval of Pyramide Intl. A purchase price was not disclosed.

The film, written by Mikhalkov and Roustam Ibraguimbekov, stars Mikhalkov as a Bolshevik hero who is confronted with the horrors of Stalin’s purges. “Burnt” is set in 1936.

Barker said SPC will give the French-Russian co-production its U.S. premiere in June at Sony’s new flagship theater, Gotham’s Lincoln Plaza. Release will widen throughout the summer, with SPC hoping to counter the avalanche of big Hollywood fare with the small indie pic, per Barker.

“Burnt,” co-produced by Mikhalkov and Seydoux, was photographed by Vilen Kaluta.