Madrid’s 6 Sales has sold the U.S. on Nitzan Gilady’s “Wedding Doll” to Strand Releasing/Outsider Pictures, marking Strand and Outsider’s first joint buy in a new and potentially significant U.S. acquisition alliance.
“Wedding Doll” follows Hagit (Moran Rosenblatt), a mildly mentally disabled young woman of remarkable joie-de-vivre who works at a toilet paper factory in southern Israel. Developing a relationship with the boss’ handsome son (Roy Assaf), Hagit hears wedding bells. But the factory’s closure challenges her fantasies.
Israeli Gilady’s first fiction feature, “Wedding Doll” has caught attention for early prizes – the Jerusalem Fest’s best Israel Debut Feature and actress (Asi Levi, who plays Hagit’s mother); and actress for Rosenblatt at the Israeli Academy’s Ophir Awards, where it scored nine nominations.
“Doll” also won critical plaudits for its non-sentimentalized vision of prejudices and disappointments suffered by the mentally disabled in what is described as a stomach-churning third act that gives the movie its edge.
” ‘Wedding Doll’ stays with you long after it’s over: It never preaches to audiences and stays true to the characters,” said Outsider’s Paul Hudson. Strand’s Jon Gerrans called it “wonderfully crafted, sensitive, beautiful.”
“We couldn’t have a better team to bring this female empowerment film to the U.S. audience,” added 6 Sales’ Marina Fuentes.
Outsider and Strand plan a U.S. theatrical release in spring.
Strand has already handled VOD/DVD distribution on over half a dozen Outsider titles. Co-acquisition “reduces risk, allows us to increase the number of releases, opens doors to films that perhaps weren’t on either companies’ radar,” Hudson said. As the arthouse market, which is unable to leverage marketing muscle, relies on often-unpredictable breakouts, those are sizeable advantages. Expect more buying alliances, in and outside the U.S.