New York-based Greenwich Entertainment has taken U.S. rights to “The Bookshop,” directed by Isabel Coixet (“My Life Without Me,” “Elegy”), one of Spain’s most international auteurs. ”The Bookshop” is sold by Thierry Wase-Bailey’s U.K.-based Celsius Entertainment.
Greenwich Entertainment was founded last year by veteran arthouse distributor Ed Arentz, formerly managing director of Music Box Films.
“It’s a wonderful film with a significant potential in the U.S.,” Arentz said enthusiastically. He added: “The film is the film and now it’s up to us to release it properly, to find a good slot and encourage the exhibitors to support it. If all goes well, the release could do very well.”
To be released in the U.S. on August 24th, Coixet’s twelfth feature, “The Bookshop” is produced by Spain’s A Contracorriente Films and Diagonal TV, the U.K.’s Zephyr Films and Germany’s One Two Films. It stars Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson and Bill Nighy. Making its comercial bow in Spain last October, it racked up a successful Euros3.0 million ($3.7 million).
The U.S. deal adds to a flurry of territory sales at the recent Berlinale including France (Septieme Factory/Arte) and Italy (Movies Inspired). Also closed are Israel (Forum), Colombia (Cine-Colombia), Argentina/Paraguay/Uruguay/Chile (CDI Films), Hungary (Cirko), Iceland (Samfilm), Portugal (Outsider), CIS/Baltics territories (Pioner Cinema) and Benelux (Cineart).
A Berlinale Special, ”The Bookshop” turns on a widow (Mortimer) who decides to set up a bookstore in the quiet English coastal town of Hardborough in the 1950s. There she must face gossip and intimidation from some of the inhabitants, but gains an unexpected ally (Nighy).
“The Bookshop” is an adaptation of Penelope Fitzgerald’s Booker Prize shortlisted novel. Coixet’s feature took best international literary adaptation 2017 award at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Oct.
A serene meditation on books and human relationships conducted through them including spontaneous love, “The Bookshop” topped the 32nd Spanish Academy Goya Awards on Feb. 3, taking best picture, director and adapted screenplay. Coixet became the second woman ever (the first was Iciar Bollain –”Take My Eyes,” in 2003) to win best director at the Spanish Academy Goya awards.
“The Bookshop” is nominated for Best Feature Award at the 5th Platino Ibero-American Film Awards to be held on April 24 in Mexico.
It has already inked a slew of territory sales, closing the U.K/ Eire (Vertigo), Germany/Austria (Capelight/Arte), Australia/ New Zealand (Transmission), Middle East (Front Row) and Brazil (Cineart Filmes).
Further territories licensed take in China (Lemon Tree), Taiwan (Sky digi), Korea (Main Title), Japan (Digital Works), Former Yugoslavia (2i), Romania (Odeon Cineplex), Turkey (Filmarti), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Bulgaria (A Plus), Poland (Hagi) and Greece/Cyprus (Odeon).