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Robin Wright’s ‘The Congress’ Nabs North American Distribution

Folman's project opened Director's Fortnight at Cannes

Drafthouse Films and Films We Like have jointly acquired North American rights to Robin Wright-starrer “The Congress,” three weeks after it opened  Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film, a hybrid of animation and live action, is directed by “Waltz with Bashir” helmer Ari Folman and stars Wright, John Hamm, Paul Giamatti and Harvey Keitel. Drafthouse plans a U.S. theatrical and VOD/digital release for 2014, and Films We Like will handle Canadian distribution.

Based on Stanislaw Lem’s 1971 novel “The Futurological Congress,” story follows an aging, out-of-work actress, portrayed by Wright as an alternate reality version of herself.

Peter Debruge said in his Variety review at Cannes: “Robin Wright plays ‘herself’ in ‘The Congress,’ a trippy cautionary tale about where society is headed, assuming movie stars license their essence to studios and audiences abandon cinema in favor of chemical cocktails that allow them to experience life as their celebrity of choice. Conceptually speaking, such a satire could only work as animation, but even then, it doesn’t quite come together — though fans of last year’s ‘Holy Motors’ may appreciate a surreal double bill with this live-toon hybrid, ideal for midnight crowds and psychedelic enthusiasts.”

The deal was negotiated by Tim League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Brigitte Suarez and Michael Weber of The Match Factory on behalf of the film’s producers.

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