Northern Arts nabs comedy

Foreign-lingo hit heads

Northern Arts Entertainment has acquired all U.S. rights to Romanian satirical comedy “Filantropica” (Philanthropy), one of the foreign-language hits of the Chicago and Palm Springs film festivals.

Directed by Nae Caranfil, the film was produced by Paris-based Antoine de Clermont Tonnere’s MACT Prods. banner and Cristian Comeaga for Domino Films in Bucharest. It was a critical success on release in France and Romania last year and was the latter country’s national submission for the 2003 foreign-language Oscar.

The biting, bittersweet comedy skewers the lust for newfound wealth in post-Communist Central Europe through the figure of an underpaid, uptight schoolteacher seduced into joining a team of grifters that work Bucharest’s top restaurants to fleece the local nouveau riche.

Northern Arts is planning a winter platform release and will partner with Wellspring Media on subsequent DVD/home video distribution.

Andrew Herwitz of the Film Sales Company represented the filmmakers in the deal and is in discussions with several U.S. companies pursuing English-language remake rights. John Lawrence Re and Larry Jackson negotiated the acquisition for Northern Arts.

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