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‘Official Competition,’ Starring Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, Wins Major Sales for Protagonist, Mediapro (EXCLUSIVE)

Official Competition
Courtesy of Protagonist Pictures

Following the presentation of exclusive footage at the European Film Market last week, highly anticipated title “Official Competition” – reuniting Spanish stars Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz – has seized sales to major distributors for sales agency Protagonist Pictures and producer The Mediapro Studio.

Banderas, Cannes best actor winner and Academy Award nominee for “Pain and Glory,” and Cruz, Academy Award winner for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” star alongside Argentinian actor Oscar Martínez, Venice best actor winner for “The Distinguished Citizen,” in the comedy about the fierce rivalry between two actors with massive talent but even bigger egos.

Lucky Red has acquired the film for Italy, Studiocanal for Germany/Austria, Scanbox for Scandinavia, Pathe Films AG for Switzerland, MK2 Mile End for Canada, Madman for Australia/New Zealand, Golden Scene for Hong Kong/Macau, and Sahamongkol Film for Thailand, with further deals closed previously at EFM 2020 for Benelux (September Film), Portugal (Lusomundo), CEE (KinoSwiat and ProRom), CIS (Provzglyad), Israel (Lev Cinemas), Middle East (Front Row), Turkey (Filmarti), Japan (Hakuhodo), and China (DDDream).

George Hamilton, head of sales at Protagonist, said: ” ‘Official Competition’ has landed with amazing distribution partners all around the world and they are all just as excited as we are for the film’s launch later this year!”

Javier Mendez, co-head of TV and cinema at The Mediapro Studio, added: “We are delighted with the great reception of the film at EFM and with our partners Protagonist Pictures and the wonderful international distributors that will allow us to bring this incredible movie to theaters around the world.”

Protagonist is handling worldwide sales, and is co-representing U.S. rights with CAA Media Finance and Emanuel Nunez.

The film is directed by Argentinian duo Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat, whose credits include 2016 black comedy “The Distinguished Citizen,” which played in Venice Film Festival Official Competition, “Mi Obra Maestra” (2018) and “4×4” (2019). It was written by Andrés Duprat (“The Distinguished Citizen”), Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat.

In “Official Competition,” a billionaire entrepreneur impulsively decides to create an iconic movie. He demands the best. Renowned filmmaker Lola Cuevas (Cruz) is recruited to mastermind this ambitious endeavor. Completing the all-star team are Hollywood heartthrob Félix Rivero (Banderas) and radical theater actor Iván Torres (Martínez). Both are legends, but not exactly best friends. Through a series of increasingly eccentric trials set by Lola, Félix and Iván must confront not only each other, but also their own legacies. Who will be left when the cameras finally start rolling?

The Mediapro Studio’s producing credits include “Midnight in Paris,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” “The Good Boss” and “Rifkin’s Festival.”