Strand Releasing Buys Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight Title ‘Will-O’-The-Wisp’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Strand Releasing has bought North American rights to João Pedro Rodrigues’ “Will-O’-The-Wisp” which had its world premiere at Director’s Fortnight in Cannes. Films Boutique represents the movie in international markets.

Set in 2069, the daring fantasy film revolves around the youth memories of a dying Portuguese aristocrat who dreamed of becoming a firefighter and unexpectedly fell in love with his instructor.

Rodrigues previously directed “The Ornithologist” which played at Locarno and Toronto, and “O Fantasma.” ”Will-O’-The-Wisp” is produced by House on Fire, Terratreme Filmes and Filmes Fantasma.

This latest acquisition re-teams Rodrigues with Strand Releasing which handled the helmer’s “O Fantasma,” “Two Drifters,” “To Die Like a Man” and “The Ornithologist.” Rodrigues also directed a short film which was part of “30/30 Vision,” a tribute to Strand Releasing which world premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

“We are so happy to be collaborating with João on this latest film which is joyful, audacious and truly original in every sense,” said Marcus Hu, Strand Releasing’s co-president. Hu added that “João (Rodrigues) has been a longtime friend and like-minded colleague that shares our vision.” The deal was negotiated by Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Jean-Christophe Simon of Films Boutique.

Simon said the company “looks forward to working again with Strand Releasing, a long-time follower of João Pedro Rodrigues’ work.”

The film is set to play at key festivals in North America this fall. Strand Releasing plans to release it in theaters next Spring. JHR Films will release the movie in France. Other sales closed by Films Boutique include Germany and Austria (Salzgeber), Switzerland (Sister Distribution), Baltics (A-One Films), as well as Brazil and Spain (Vitrine Films).

Strand Releasing is currently handling the release of four films, including Marco Bellocchio’s “Marx Can Wait,” Rithy Panh’s “Irradiated,” Francois Ozon’s “Peter Von Kant” and Alli Haapasalo’s “Girl Picture.”