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Toronto-Bound ‘Transit’ Picked Up for U.S. by Music Box Films (EXCLUSIVE)

Music Box Films has acquired U.S. rights to Christian Petzold’s “Transit,” which world-premiered in competition at Berlin and is set to play at the Toronto and New York film festivals.

“Transit,” which stars Franz Rogowski (“In the Aisles”) and Paula Beer (“Frantz”), was adapted from Anna Seghers’ World War II novel of the same name. An examination of modern France, it takes place in Marseilles just after the German invasion and follows Georg, a German refugee who takes on the identity of a recently deceased author, Weidel. Variety called it a film of “piercing emotional acuity.”

A well-established German filmmaker, Petzold also directed “Barbara,” which won the Berlinale’s Silver Bear in 2012; “Phoenix,” which won the FIPRESCI Prize at San Sebastian; and “Yella.”

“We are great admirers of Christian’s films, and are thrilled to finally be working with him,” said Music Box Films President William Schopf, who negotiated the deal with Match Factory’s Thania Dimitrakopoulou. “In ‘Transit,’ Christian has created a deeply moving and intellectually provocative portrait of lives upended by war, bureaucracy, and borders that remains sadly relevant today.”

Music Box plans a theatrical rollout in the U.S. in early 2019, followed by a release on home-entertainment platforms.

“We are truly happy to get back to work with Music Box and find the right home for Christian Petzold’s work. We are confident that American audiences will embrace ‘Transit’ and find the beauty in Petzold’s work after the big success of ‘Phoenix’ in the U.S.,” said Michael Webber, president of Match Factory.

Music Box’s recent releases include Xavier Beauvois’ World War I drama “The Guardians” and Robert Schwentke’s World War II drama “The Captain.” Upcoming releases include Emmanuel Finkiel’s “Memoir of War,” based on the writings of Marguerite Duras; Xavier Giannoli’s mystery, “The Apparition”; and Pernille Fischer Christensen’s “Becoming Astrid.”

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