Sam Garbarski’s pic has been picked up by Officine Ubu in Italy and Panda Media in South Korea. It had already been sold to several territories, including the CIS and Baltic states (Project Manometr), and Taiwan (Encore Film), before the start of the festival.
Garbarski and two of the film’s stars, Moritz Bleibtreu (“Run Lola Run”) and Danny Pudi (“Community”), were in Locarno for the premiere, demonstrating chemistry at a humor-laced press conference. The film’s industry screening in Locarno is on Aug. 11.
“Vijay and I” tells the story of Will (Bleibtreu), a talented actor stuck on a children’s TV show, where he portrays a hapless bunny. After a thief steals and crashes his car, leading everyone to believe he is dead, Will disguises himself as Vijay, a handsome, elegant Sikh, to attend his own funeral. He then starts to court his widow, Julia (Patricia Arquette), and discovers that he likes Vijay more than himself, and so does everyone else.
A film that questions identity while mocking cultural stereotypes, “Vijay” was designed at least to make people smile, Garbarski said at the press conference. But he was pleased to see that it made people laugh out loud, he added.
Michael Weber, managing director of the Match Factory, said: “I am thrilled by the response ‘Vijay and I’ has received from the audience, critics and buyers. We are delighted to work with Officine Ubu and Panda Media for the first time, and are looking forward to strengthening our network in Italy and Korea.”
Pic is produced by Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup, Luxembourg’s Samsa Films and Germany’s Pandora Film.
Garbarski’s credits include “Irina Palm,” which played in competish at the Berlin Film Festival in 2007.