IFC Films has acquired North American rights to “R.M.N.,” the new film from acclaimed writer, director and producer Cristian Mungiu, ahead of its world premiere in Cannes this week.
It’s a grand reunion for the indie studio and the director, marking their fifth distribution collaboration. IFC Films will release “R.M.N.” theatrically in 2022. It may have been a wise preemptive buy. The director’s films tend to get an award-winning reception in the South of France. Mungiu previously won the Palme d’Or in 2007 for “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” a drama about abortion that was set in waning days of the Nicolae Ceaușescu era in Romania.
Here’s the official description of “R.M.N.”: “A few days before Christmas, having quit his job in Germany, Matthias (Marin Grigore) returns to his multi-ethnic Transylvanian village. He wishes to involve himself more in the education of his son, Rudi, left for too long in the care of his mother, Ana, and to rid the boy of the unresolved fears that have taken hold of him. He’s preoccupied with his old father, Otto and also eager to see his ex-lover, Csilla (Judith State). When a few new workers are hired at the small factory that Csilla manages, the peace of the community is disturbed, underlying fears grip the adults, and frustrations, conflicts and passions erupt through the thin veneer of apparent understanding and calm.”
“R.M.N.” is produced by Mungiu with Mobra Films and executive produced by Tudor Reu. Co-producers include Pascal Caucheteux and Gregoire Sorlat of Why Not Productions, Sean Wheelan of Filmgate Films, Anthony Muir and Kristina Börjeson of Film I Väst, and Delphine Tomson of Les Films Du Fleuve.
Mungiu’s first feature “Occident” premiered in Quinzaine Réalisateurs in 2002. He also returned to Cannes in 2009 as a writer, producer and co-director with the collective episodic film “Tales From the Golden Age.” His next feature “Beyond the Hills” won best screenplay and best actress at the 2012 edition and was later shortlisted for best international feature at that year’s Academy Awards. He was also on hand at Cannes in 2016 with “Graduation,” winning best director.
“This Cannes marks the 15th anniversary of when IFC Films started working with Cristian for the first time after the premiere of Palme D’or-winning ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,'” Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films said. “He is one of the best directors working in cinema today and his incredible body of work has made a lasting impression on the global stage. We are so honored he has made IFC Films his home once again. We were absolutely blown away by the ‘R.M.N.’ and are delighted to work with Cristian to bring the film to North American audiences.”
Of the acquisition, Mungiu said, ““I am very happy that 15 years after ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’ I am back in Cannes and part of the official selection. It means even more that I am able to continue working with the people who have stood by me all these years, in my attempt to make my films reach as many people as possible, in as many theaters as possible. I hope they will help me communicate that once again through a story set in a tiny little place, I try to speak about us, today. I think it’s also good to check what are the limits of our freedom as filmmakers today in a world where political correctness started setting limits about what is appropriate to say – and what is not. I feel I owe one explanation: ‘R.M.N.’ in English is NMR: Nuclear Magnetic Resonance – basically a brain investigation. Given how the world looks today, I feel we need one.”
The deal was negotiated by Scott Shooman, senior vice president of acquisitions and productions, for IFC Films, with Eva Diederix on behalf of Wild Bunch, and CAA Media Finance. Wild Bunch is handling international sales.