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Turkish Drama ‘The Wild Pear Tree’ Lands at Cinema Guild (EXCLUSIVE)

Cinema Guild has bought U.S. distribution rights to Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s “The Wild Pear Tree,” a month after it premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Cinema Guild will release the film in theaters in early 2019. It’s the eighth feature film from the Turkish filmmaker, who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2014 for “Winter Sleep.”

The Wild Pear Tree” follows an aspiring writer (played by Doğu Demirkol) who returns home after college, hoping to scrape together enough money to publish his first novel. But as he wanders the town, encountering old flames and obstinate gatekeepers, he finds his youthful ambition increasingly at odds with the deferred dreams of his gambling-addict father (portrayed by Murat Cemcir). As his own fantasies mingle with reality, he grapples with the people and the place that have made him who he is.

“The Wild Pear Tree” will mark the second film of Ceylan’s released by the Cinema Guild. They also partnered on his 2011 Cannes Grand Prix winner “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia.”

Jay Weissberg called the film “masterful” in his review for Variety: “Even more than in his previous film, Ceylan and his fellow scriptwriters (wife Ebru Ceylan along with Akın Aksu, also acting) develop astonishingly complex spoken recitatives that weave philosophy, religious tradition, and ethics together into a mesmerizing verbal fugue. For his fans, the three hours won’t feel like an indulgence, but those less sympathetic to the shared primacy of verbiage and imagery will likely feel tested. The achievement is masterful, though its diffusion will be limited.”

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“We’re thrilled to be releasing another masterpiece by Nuri Bilge Ceylan,” said Cinema Guild director of distribution Peter Kelly. “‘The Wild Pear Tree’ pulses with the vitality of a first feature, but could only have been made by someone with complete confidence in their craft. We can’t wait to share it with audiences in the U.S.”

The deal was negotiated by Peter Kelly of Cinema Guild with Emilie Georges of Memento Films International. Cinema Guild’s recent theatrical releases include Hong Sang-soo’s “The Day After,” “Claire’s Camera,” “On the Beach at Night Alone,” Jim McKay’s “En el Séptimo Día,” and Valeska Grisebach’s “Western.”

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