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Kino Lorber Acquires U.S. Rights to ‘Custody’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Kino Lorber has acquired all U.S. rights to “Custody,” the critically acclaimed debut feature of Xavier Legrand that won prizes at Venice and San Sebastian and competed in Toronto’s Platform section.

A highly promising French filmmaker, Legrand had earned an Oscar nomination with his short “Just Before Losing Everything,” which served as a narrative basis for “Custody.”

Produced by KG Prods.’ Alexandre Gavras and repped in international markets by Celluloid Dreams, “Custody” stars Denis Ménochet (“Assassin’s Creed”), Léa Drucker (TV series “The Bureau”), Thomas Gioria and Mathilde Auneveux.

“Custody” follows Julien (Gioria), who is forced by a judge’s ruling amid his parents’ bitter divorce to split his time between his mother (Drucker) and estranged father (Ménochet), whom he regards as a violent monster. Held hostage to the escalating conflict between his parents, Julien is pushed to the edge to prevent the worst from happening.

“Custody” won best first film and the Silver Lion for best director at Venice, where it world-premiered. It also won the TV Award and the Audience Award for a European Film at San Sebastian. Most recently, “Custody” was awarded the Jury Special Mention at the Zurich Film Festival, as well as prizes at Saint Jean de Luz Film Festival, the Arte Mare Bastia festival, Tofifest and Mostra Sao Paulo.

The deal was negotiated between Wendy Lidell for Kino Lorber and Charlotte Mickie for Celluloid Dreams. Kino Lorber is planning to release the film in mid- 2018 followed by a rollout on VOD and home video later in the year.

“I can still feel my heart pounding. Xavier Legrand has created a tight original thriller where a director of lesser talent might have made a courtroom drama. ‘Custody’ is a film for both cinephiles and wider audiences. We are looking forward to a huge success,” said Wendy Lidell, Kino Lorber SVP.

Legrand said he hoped American audiences “will feel with my film the fear and dread I felt watching some American films that were a real source of inspiration for [“Custody”].”

“Custody” will be released in France by Haut et Court on Feb. 7.

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