PARIS– Strand Releasing has acquired all U.S. rights to Laura Bispuri’s directorial debut “Sworn Virgin” in the run-up to its premiere at Tribeca.
Sold by the Match Factory, “Sworn Virgin,” which unspools in the harsh mountains of Albania, follows the journey of young girl, Hana (Alba Rohrwacher), who chooses to become a “sworn virgin” and assume a male identity in order to escape a life of servitude. Renamed Mark, she sets off to Italy when she reaches adulthood and discovers freedom, allowing for both of her identities to meld together.
The movie, based on Elvira Dones’ novel “Vergine Giurata” and penned by Francesca Manieri and Bispuri, world premiered in competition at Venice and was developed at Cannes’ Cinefondation atelier.
“Laura is an exceptional director with a unique cinematographic language, and I am happy to have our co-production in the slate of our friends, Strand,” said Michael Weber, the Match Factory’s managing director.
“We’re thrilled to have this debut film. Ms. Bispuri’s unique vision as a director is so assured and completely original,” said Gerrans.
Pic was produced by Marta Donzelli and Gregorio Paonessa, Maurizio Totti and Alessandro Usai, Dan Wechsler, Michael Weber, Viola Fügen, Sabina Kodra and Robert Budina.
Strand is planning a release in late 2015 or early 2016. Deal was inked between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Brigitte Suárez on behalf of the Match Factory.
Headed by Jon Gerrans and Marcus Hu, the Culver-City-based Strand Releasing will also distribute Fatih Akin’s “The Cut,” Eran Riklis’ “A Borrowed Identity,” Thomas Cailley’s “Love at First Fight” and Ulrich Seidl’s “In the Basement” in the U.S.