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Cannes: Music Box Films Nabs U.S. Rights to ‘Give Me Liberty’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Give Me Liberty
Sundance Film Festival

Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. rights to “Give Me Liberty,” Variety has learned. The deal comes on the eve of the film’s international premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight section at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

“Give Me Liberty” tracks a day in the life of Vic, a young Russian immigrant and medical transport driver for people with disabilities in Milwaukee. The movie is from writer-director Kirill Mikhanovsky and writer-producer Alice Austen. “Give Me Liberty” draws on Mikhanovsky’s personal experiences.

It debuted to strong reviews at Sundance, and will appear in tighter form in Cannes, with 15 minutes cut from its original two-hour-plus running time. The movie will have its New York premiere in June as the Centerpiece film at BAMcinemaFest. Music Box plans a theatrical rollout later this summer followed by a release on home entertainment platforms.

“Kirill and Alice have created a visceral and compassionate film with an unconventional comic streak that uniquely captures the spirit of people in communities we rarely see in film and television,” said William Schopf, president of Music Box Films. “We are thrilled to be working with them and are looking forward to bringing this film to theaters.”

The deal is for all film rights in the United States. The pact was negotiated by Schopf and CAA’s Media Finance. Wild Bunch is selling international rights and releasing the film in France on July 24.

“The making of ‘Give Me Liberty’ has been a wild ride, and it’s time to take it on the road of national distribution,” Mikhanovsky said in a statement. “[Music Box Films] wooed us with their love for the film and their dedication to ensuring ‘Give Me Liberty’ is seen by as wide an audience as possible.”