Cannes 2021: What Has Sold So Far, From ‘Flag Day’ to ‘Bergman Island’ (Updating)

·3-min read

With Cannes pushed to July this year from its usual spot in May, many of the titles playing in competition at the festival, especially the English-language ones with wide commercial appeal, already have North American distributors or homes. And the bulk of the festival’s marketplace already took place two weeks ago during the virtual film market.

For instance, Cannes’ opening night film “Annette,” Leos Carax’s latest starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, will debut later this year through Amazon. Searchlight Pictures had intended to release Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” last year, but will do so in 2021 after finally bowing at Cannes. Apple has Todd Haynes’ documentary “The Velvet Underground,” and Focus Features has the the Matt Damon thriller “Stillwater,” both of which are playing out of competition.

While the festival itself will still be a hot spot for deals and networking, we’ve already seen a steady number of sales from this year’s market, all of which now have the hopes of walking away with some buzz, or in some cases, even the Palme D’Or. Below, see some of the completed movies and hot packages that have already found homes since the unveiling of the Cannes lineup.

“Flag Day” – MGM

After first debuting at Cannes as a director 30 years ago, Sean Penn returned this year with “Flag Day,” which MGM picked up for a release through United Artists later this year. The film stars Penn and his daughter, Dylan Penn, and is based on a memoir by Jennifer Vogel about her strained relationship with her father, a famed con man.

“Benedetta” – IFC Films

“Benedetta” is an erotic drama directed by Paul Verhoeven about a young nun in 17th Century Italy who carries on an affair with another nun, and it’s inspired by a non-fiction book by historian Judith C. Brown. Virginia Efira and Charlotte Rampling star in the film that IFC Films picked up for North American release, while Mubi nabbed the UK and Ireland rights. In France, it will open in theaters the same day as its Cannes premiere on July 9.

“Lamb” – A24

Playing in the Un Certain Regard section, “Lamb” is an eerie, atmospheric folktale set in Iceland and starring Noomi Rapace. The film is the directorial debut feature of Valdimar Jóhannsson, and it sold North American rights to A24. It’s also been acquired in over 50 territories across Europe and abroad.

“Bergman Island” – IFC Films

Named for Fårö Island, on which Ingmar Bergman shot many of his classic films, “Bergman Island” is the English-language debut of French director Mia Hansen-Løve, which is playing in competition. The film stars Tim Roth, Vicky Krieps and Mia Wasikowska, and is a relationship drama about a pair of American filmmakers whose marriage slowly tears apart the longer they remain on the island, as their sense of reality and fiction begins to blur.

“Pussy Island” – MGM

“High Fidelity” actress Zoë Kravitz is making her directorial debut with “Pussy Island,” a genre thriller with satirical elements and social commentary about sexual politics in a post-MeToo era. The film was set up as a package at the Cannes virtual market with Channing Tatum set to star and produce. MGM then picked up the film’s worldwide rights and set “Star Wars” actress Naomi Ackie to star. Filming hopes to begin next year.

“The Holdovers” – Miramax

Miramax acquired the rights to another package out of the festival, “The Holdovers,” which is directed by Alexander Payne and reunites him with his “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti. “The Holdovers” will be Payne’s first feature since 2017’s “Downsizing.” The film is a comedy set in 1970 about a curmudgeonly school teacher stuck on campus over the Christmas holiday. The studio also gave the movie the green light to begin filming in January.

Read original story Cannes 2021: What Has Sold So Far, From ‘Flag Day’ to ‘Bergman Island’ (Updating) At TheWrap

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