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Goldwyn gets Sherman’s ‘Bent’ for U.S. distrib’n

The screen version of Martin Sherman’s award-winning gay-themed play “Bent” has been picked up for U.S. distribution by the Goldwyn Entertainment Co., it was announced Thursday by Goldwyn and Film Four Intl.

The pic, about the persecution of gays by the Nazis during World War II, is based on the play that bowed on London’s Royal Court stage 18 years ago. Sherman’s screen adaptation is directed by Sean Mathias for exec producer Sarah Radclyffe and producers Michael Solinger and Dixie Linder. Starring Lothaire Bluteau, Clive Owen and Brian Webber, the pic also features the play’s original cast member Ian McKellen as well as Mick Jagger. “Bent” is world premiering at Cannes in the Intl. Critics’ Week.

A continued success

In making the announcement, Goldwyn topper Samuel Goldwyn Jr. noted that the acquisition “is a continuation of Goldwyn’s successful relationship with Channel Four and David Aukin” that began with “The Madness of King George.”

Aukin is Channel Four’s head of film. Film Four Intl. director of sales Bill Stephens said he expects the domestic deal to energize international distrib efforts.

In making the announcement, Goldwyn head of worldwide production John Manulis said, “When we saw ‘Bent,’ we saw a provocative, world-class script, virtuoso filmmaking and unforgettable performances.”

A fall release is skedded.

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