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Daniele Luchetti’s “The Ties” (“Lacci”), the first Italian film to open the Venice Film Festival in 11 years, garnered warm reviews on its world premiere on Wednesday evening, and has been sold by MK2 Films in a raft of territories around the world.

MK2 Films has been able to lure major distributors in key markets, notably France (Pyramide), Spain (Caramel), Latin America (Synapse), China (Huanxi), Portugal (Midas), Greece (Weirdwave), Austria (Thim), Switzerland (Cineworx), CIS (Provzyglad), Bulgaria (Cinelibri) and former Yugoslavia (MCF).

“The Ties” opens in Naples, in the early 1980s, and revolves around the relationship of Aldo and Vanda who go through a separation after Aldo reveals an affair. Their two young children are torn between their parents, in a whirlwind of resentment; but even without love, the ties that keep people together are inescapable, and 30 years later, Aldo and Vanda are still married.

The movie is headlined by a strong Italian cast comprising Alba Rohrwacher, Luigi Lo Cascio, Laura Morante, Silvio Orlando and Giovanna Mezzogiorno.

“It’s cleary very exciting that Venice is really happening and we’re incredibly pleased with how buyers have been responding to this family drama with an original spin and the incredible performances given by this great cast,” said Fionnuala Jamison, the head of sales at Mk2 Films.

Variety‘s Guy Lodge writes in his review that the strengths of the “well-acted” drama lie “in conveying the more banal everyday details, incidents and anecdotes that become, over time and often subconsciously, the very fabric of family history.”

Luchetti is a critically acclaimed Italian filmmaker who is best known for “La Nostra Vita,” which played in competition at Cannes in 2010 and won best actor for Elio Germano (tied with Javier Bardem for “Biutiful”).

“The Ties” is produced by veteran Italian producer Beppe Caschetto, whose credits include “The Traitor” and “Martin Eden.” IBC Movie and Rai Cinema produced the film with Misia Film.