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Sony docks on Italo-French ‘Island’

Drama stars Golino as manic mother

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American distribution on Roissy Films’ “Respiro (Grazia’s Island),” an Italian-French coproduction that reps the first Italian-lingo feature by Emanuele Crialese. Pic preemed Monday to strong response in Critics’ Week.

Roissy principal Raphael Berdugo, who repped the film, said the sale came down to a “big battle” between SPC and another buyer. SPC previously bought the 1993 “Indochine” from Roissy, which earned the Oscar for best foreign language film.

Set in a Sicilian fishing community on the island of Lampedusa, the drama stars Valeria Golino as a mother and wife. Her husband attempts to send her away for psychological treatment to handle her increasingly manic mood swings, with unexpected results.

Pic was penned by Crialese, with Domenico Procacci producing. Anne-Dominique Toussaint served as co-producer.

Pic was produced by Fandango in co-production with Les Films de Tournedos and Roissy, in association with Medusa Film and Telepiu with participation by TPS Cinema. Medusa opened the film in Italy in tandem with the Cannes bow.

Crialese’s prior credit was “Once We Were Strangers,” which screened as a competition selection at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.