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Janus, Criterion reel in ‘Revanche’

Duo nab rights to Goetz Spielmann's thriller

Art film distrib Janus and the Criterion Collection have nabbed North American theatrical and homevid rights to Goetz Spielmann’s “Revanche,” ahead of its AFI Fest unspooling on Nov. 1.

Janus will release the pic to theaters in March followed by a Criterion DVD rollout.

Spielmann’s dramatic thriller, which preemed at this year’s Berlin Film Festival, is Austria’s Oscar entry in the foreign-language film race.

Though well known for its massive classic film library, Janus hasn’t released a firstrun film in 30 years. Janus topper Peter Becker saw “Revanche” at the 2008 Telluride film fest and began discussions with Spielmann.

“It was a completely unusual gesture because acquiring firstrun films is not something we’re going to be doing on an ongoing basis,” said Becker. Becker said Janus is well positioned to release the new pic through existing relationships with arthouses that rely on Janus for their repertory calendar.

Founded in 1956, Janus is credited with introducing such foreign helmers as Ingmar Bergman, Francois Truffaut, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa to American audiences. Its sister company Criterion releases many Janus pics as high-end “authoritative” versions on DVD and Blu-ray.