SPC nabs Babenco prison pic

'Carandiru' adaptation of Brazilian bestseller

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up worldwide rights to Oscar-nominated Brazilian helmer Hector Babenco’s new film “Carandiru,” produced by Flavio Tambellini and Babenco. Pic recently completed production.

Pic is an adaptation by Babenco, Fernando Bonassi and Victor Navas of the Brazilian bestseller “Estacao Carandiru” (Carandiru Station), a novel by physician-turned-novelist Drauzio Varella. Film tells the story of one of the largest prisons in Latin America and the lives of the people within it, ending with a massive prison revolt that took place in 1992.

Pic stars Luis Carlos Vasconcelos (“Me You Them”), Milton Goncalves (“Orfeu”), Maria Luisa Mendonca (“Corazon Iluminado”), Lazaro Ramos (“Woman on Top”) and Rodrigo Santoro (“Behind the Sun”).

“This movie will be Hector at his best,” Sony Pictures Classics co-president Michael Barker tells Variety. “It is very reminiscent of both ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’ and ‘Pixote’ and features top talent from Brazil. We are delighted to be working with Hector, a director we’ve wanted to work with for many, many years.”

Babenco’s 1985 release, “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” saw star William Hurt collect the Oscar for his leading role. Babenco’s recent pix include “Corazon Iluminado,” “At Play in the Fields of the Lord” and “Ironweed.”

Sony Classics has also picked up U.S. rights to Alliance Atlantis’ “Owning Mahowny” at Cannes.