D Films has nabbed Canadian rights to Andrew Cividino’s Cannes-preeming feature bow “Sleeping Giant” in advance of its North American premiere on Tuesday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The deal was negotiated by producer Karen Harnisch of Film Forge, exec producer and Hawkeye Pictures prexy Aeschylus Poulos and D Films’ Michael Robson.
Seville Intl. is handling international sales for the film in Toronto.
“Connecting with audiences across the country and off the beaten path is a huge priority for us,” said Harnisch of the pic’s domestic rollout. “The team at D Films is in tune to the market, but also unafraid to make bold, creative choices when it gets behind a film. We’re excited to see where this collaboration leads.”
Cividino — currently working on a feature version of his 2012 Toronto fest short “We Ate the Children Last” (adapted from a Yann Martel story), among other projects — said casting Thunder Bay teens in two key “Giant” roles was crucial to capturing an authentic feel. “As a kid, I spent my entire summers around where we filmed, and I didn’t want to take up professional actors and get them to pretend they’d grown up there,” he said. “So we spent a lot of time in Thunder Bay handing out flyers.”
“Giant” was made with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, and Telefilm Canada.