Sony snags rights to ‘O’Horten’

Film to have North American bow at Toronto

Sony Pictures Classics nabbed domestic rights to Norwegian helmer Bent Hamer’s drama “O’Horten,” which preemed this year Cannes in Un Certain Regard.

Film will have its North American preem at the Toronto Film Fest and Sony plans a first quarter 2009 release.

Pic marks Hamer’s fifth feature; he’s best known in the United States for his adaptation of Charles Bukowski’s “Factotum.” His internationally acclaimed “Kitchen Stories,” was Norway’s 2003 Academy Award entry.

“O’Horten” follows train engineer Odd Horten, as he uneasily enters retirement after 40 years on the job. Drama is nominated for seven Amanda Awards (Norway’s top honors presented this coming August) including best picture and best director.

“Bent has a wonderfully skewed view of the human condition and, “O’Horten” gives us that somewhat absurdist vision with great warmth, a little melancholy and universal understanding,” said Sony Classics co-prexy Michael Barker.

Deal was concluded with Michael Weber from The Match Factory representing the film and Sony Pictures Classics co-prexies Tom Bernard and Barker and Dylan Leiner, senior veep of production and acquisition.