Sony Pictures Classics has acquired all rights in North America, Australia and New Zealand to Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio’s “A Fantastic Woman” from Participant Media.
The film, starring newcomer Daniela Vega and Francisco Reyes, will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in the competition section on Feb. 12.
The film is produced by Chile-based Fabula’s Juan de Dios Larrain and Pablo Larrain with German company Komplizen Film, and executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King of Participant Media.
Vega, a transgender actress, portrays a waitress and singer named Marina who’s in love with Reyes’ character, an older man who suddenly falls ill and dies. She’s forced to confront his family and society.
Lelio said, “I’m thrilled Sony Pictures Classics will be releasing ‘A Fantastic Woman’ and am excited by their passion for Marina’s story. The story is one of great human strength, which I hope will invite and challenge audiences to explore the limits of their own empathy. For me, Marina is an inspiration.”
Participant Media’s Jonathan King noted that his company had previously collaborated with Fabula on “No” and “Neruda.” Sony Pictures Classics released “No” and partnered with Komplizen Film on “Toni Erdmann.”
Lelio’s last film “Gloria” won the best actress award in 2013 for Paulina Garcia at Berlin. He is currently directing Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in “Disobedience.”
Gabriel Brakin and Jonathan King negotiated the deal on behalf of Participant Media. Funny Balloons is handling foreign sales for the remaining territories.