Cannes: Myriad, Goldwyn Team for U.S Distribution on Banderas’ ‘Altamira’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Myriad also confirms sales, novel VR U.S. campaign

Kirk D’Amico’s Myriad Pictures and Peter Goldwyn’s Samuel Goldwyn Films will partner for the U.S. distribution of “Finding Altamira,” a drama starring Antonio Banderas and Golshifteh Farahani (“Exodus: God and Kings). Lead producer on the picture is Spain’s Morena Films. Fox Intl. Prods. is an associate producer.

Myriad has also confirmed first international sales on “Altamira,” plus a novel virtual reality tie-in that could be used for the U.S. release.

Myriad and Samuel Goldwyn are looking toward a late September/early October theatrical release in at least 15 markets, said D’Amico, Myriad Pictures president-CEO.

Fox distributed “Altamira” in Spain, where it was released April 1 and has taken in $1.3 million through May 1, and will handle the pic in Latin America and Germany.

Myriad Pictures has closed Canada (Pacific Northwest Pictures), China (HGC Entertainment), Poland (Sonovision), Portugal (Cinemundo), the Middle East (Eagle Films), Turkey (Filmarti Films) and former Yugoslavia (Dexin Films). PNP is in talks for a day-and-date North American release. Myriad is in discussions for a sale to France, he added.

Directed by Hugh Hudson, and based on true events, “Altamira” stars Banderas as Marcelino Santuola, a well-off amateur archaeologist in Cantabria, Northern Spain. In 1879, his small daughter stumbles across Paleolithic cave art of galloping bison. But Santuola’s findings are decried as heresy by the Catholic Church and a forgery by French specialists.

“Arguments about the evolution of man resonate in today’s arguments about climate change, as people still ignore science for political and religious reasons,” said D’Amico, “ ‘Altamira’ is about a man who stood up to the Catholic Church, and finally won his dignity back.”

“This is the story of a man who makes an important discovery, but makes it too soon,” added Morena Films producer partner Alvaro Longoria.

The filmmakers have produced a four-minute virtual reality tour of the Altamira Cave, this site of the discovery, to be shown to buyers at an “Altamira” reception in Cannes Thursday.

The VR short shows the cave as it used to be, before structural change, per Longoria.

D’Amico said he imagined making the film and VR headsets available at “Altamira’s” U.S. theater screenings.

“Altamira” is co-produced by France’s Mare Nostrum, the U.K.’s Sympathetic Inc. and Telefonica Studios.

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