Bleecker Street has bought U.S. rights to Mona Fastvold’s “The World to Come,” a period romance with Katherine Waterston and Vanessa Kirby, rolling off its critically acclaimed premiere in competition at the 77th Venice Film Festival.
Repped in the U.S. by UTA Independent Film Group, Endeavor Content and ICM Partners, the Venice breakout was being circled by four bidders beginning the night of its premiere on Sept. 6.
Based on the stellar reviews and strong buzz that “The World to Come” garnered in Venice, it will likely be a serious Oscar contender if Bleecker Street is able to release it on time. There is no release date planned yet.
Kirby, whose performance has been unanimously praised, was on double duty at Venice where she starred in another competition film, Kornél Mundruczó’s “Pieces of a Woman.”
“The World to Come” marks the sophomore outing of actress-turned-filmmaker Mona Fastvold, who made her directorial debut with “The Sleepwalker” in 2014 and has since then co-written several movies, including “Vox Lux,” “The Childhood of a Leader” and “The Mustang.”
Set in 1856, the film tells the intense love story between two disaffected farm wives (Kirby and Waterston). Casey Affleck and Christopher Abbott also star. “The World to Come” was penned by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard, adapted from Shepard’s short story. Variety‘s Guy Lodge described the film as a “lyrical exploration of female desire in 19th-century America.”
“A superb quartet of actors bring intense feeling to Mona Fastvold’s simple, stirring sophomore feature, a love story between two disaffected farm wives in rural New York,” said Lodge, who reviewed the film at Venice.
The film is produced by Sea Change Media, Killer Films, M.Y.R.A. Entertainment, in association with Hype Film, Charades, Yellow Bear Films, Panasper Films Ltd. and Ingenious Media.
The movie was produced by Affleck, Whitaker Lader, Pamela Koffler, David Hinojosa, Margarethe Baillou. Executive producers are Christine Vachon, Peter Touche, Jamie Jessop, Andrew Morrison, Carole Baraton, Yohann Comte, Pierre Mazars, Ilya Stewart, Murad Osmann, and Pavel Buria.
The deal was negotiated by Kent Sanderson and Avy Eschenasy on behalf of Bleecker Street and UTA Independent Film Group and Endeavor Content on behalf of filmmakers.
Sony Pictures Worldwide has rights to the film outside of North America. Several buyers from Canada are circling the film.