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Orchard Nabs North American Rights To Pablo Larrain’s ‘Neruda’ (EXCLUSIVE)

CANNES — Orchard has acquired North American rights to Pablo Larrain’s Gael Garcia Bernal starrer “Neruda,” an unconventional take on the famed Chilean politician-poet, following the film’s world premiere at Directors’ Fortnight.

The deal was negotiated by The Orchard with CAA and Participant Media, which co-produced the pic, on behalf of the filmmakers. Management 360 co-repped U.S. Rights.

The Orchard plans a fall release for the film with an awards push.

“Neruda,” which marks Larrain’s follow up to Golden Globe-nominated “El Club,” has earned critical acclaim upon its world premiere. Guillermo Calderón (“El Club”) penned the film, which was produced by Juan de Dios Larraín.

Garcia Bernal stars opposite Chile’s Luis Gnecco (HBO’s “Profugos”), and Mercedes Moran (The Motorcycle Diaries).

“Neruda blew us away, full stop. Pablo has created a lush, layered film of beauty filled with amazing performances and a style so unique and compelling,” said Paul Davidson, EVP of film and TV at The Orchard. “We are ecstatic to have the opportunity to be a part of this film’s journey to audiences and work with Pablo and our good friends at Participant.”

Participant’s Jonathan King said “Pablo has made another extraordinary film that grapples with art, politics and love in a way that defies all expectations. We are incredibly proud of our continuing partnership with our friends Pablo and Juan. Paul and his team at The Orchard stepped up immediately after our first screening, and we are confident they will deliver the film to the widest possible audience.”

Directors’ Fortnight’s topper Edouard Waintrop told Variety “Neruda” was a “sensual, metaphysical and surprising film, notably for its innovative aesthetic which also reflects Larrain’s perception of Neruda and his relationship to the truth.”

Sold by Funny Balloons, “Neruda” will be released by Wild Bunch Distribution in France, Piffl Medien in Germany/Austria, Good Films in Italy, and Network Distributing in the U.K., Golden Scene in Hong Kong, Alambique in Portugal and Filmcoopi in Switzerland.

Twentieth Century Fox will distribute “Neruda” in Chile. Spain-based co-produced Setembro Films holds rights to Spain, Argentine producer AZ Films those to Argentina.

“Neruda” was co-financed by Participant Media, in association with Chile’s Fabula, France’s Funny Balloons, Argentina’s AZ Films, and Spain’s Setembro Cine. Producers are Larraín, Peter Danner, Renan Artukmaç, Alex Zito, Juan Pablo García, Ignacio Rey, Gastón Rothschild, and Fernanda del Nido. Pic was exec produced by Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King of Participant Media, Marc Simoncini, Mariane Hartard, and Rocio Jadue.

Larrain recently directed Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard and Billy Crudup in Jackie Kennedy biopic, “Jackie.”

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