After an all-night bidding war, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American distribution rights to the Cannes Film Festival in-competition Holocaust drama “Son of Saul” (“Saul Fia”), Variety has learned.
The deal, which closed with Paris-sales company Films Distribution, includes multiple international territories. Several distributors had placed offers for the the Hungarian film, about a prisoner (Geza Rohrig) in Auschwitz from first-time director Laszlo Nemes.
“The Son of Saul” premiered on Friday to strong reviews — it’s one of the best-reviewed competition entries so far.
“The result is as grim and unyielding a depiction of the Holocaust as has yet been made on that cinematically overworked subject — a masterful exercise in narrative deprivation and sensory overload that recasts familiar horrors in daringly existential terms,” wrote Variety chief film critic Justin Chang.
The 38-year old director previously made three critically-acclaimed shorts, including “Turelem” which was nominated for an European Film Award.
Produced Gabor Sipos and Gabor Rajna, “The Son of Saul” will be released in Hungary by Mozinet and in France by Ad Vitam.
Earlier this week, SPC also acquired the Japanese drama “Our Little Sister” out of Cannes.