IFC Films serves ‘Kitchen Stories’

Pic has nabbed Cannes, Tromoso fest kudos

IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Norwegian writer-director Bent Hamer’s odd-couple comedy-drama “Kitchen Stories,” which premiered to strong audience and critical response in the Directors Fortnight at Cannes.

Set in small-town Norway in the 1950s, the film is a gently humorous satire on social conditioning. It focuses on the slowly evolving friendship between a Swedish researcher studying the kitchen habits of single men and a gruff, solitary-natured Norwegian farmer who regrets having signed up for observation.

‘Universal appeal’

” ‘Kitchen Stories’ is a film with a really specific premise but universal appeal,” said IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring. “It epitomizes the type of film IFC likes to be involved with. It’s smart, funny and heartfelt. Bent Hamer and his team have crafted a beautifully realized gem of a film.”

Hamer produced for his BulBul Film banner, in co-production with Sweden’s Bob Film. Pic stars Joachim Calmeyer and Tomas Norstrom. It won the Regard Jeune prize in the Directors Fortnight and the Fipresci international critics award at the Tromoso Film Festival in Norway.

Second buy

Pickup was brokered in Cannes by IFC director of acquisitions Sarah Lash with Hengameh Panahi of Paris-based sales agent Celluloid Dreams.

Deal marks the second U.S. buy out of the Directors Fortnight, following United Artists’ acquisition over he weekend of North American rights to Afghan drama “Osama.”

IFC is planning a 2004 release for “Kitchen Stories.” Upcoming titles from the distrib include Todd Graff’s “Camp” and John Sayles’ “Casa de los Babys.” IFC Films starts production this summer on Rebecca Miller’s “Rose and the Snake,” with Daniel Day-Lewis and Catherine Keener.

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