While there has been a high level of suspense over the acquisitions of pictures shown at Toronto, this wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger. Because it marks the 10th collaboration between Pedro Almodovar and Sony Pictures Classics’ Michael Barker and Tom Bernard who acquired North American rights to his new film The Skin That I Inhabit. The picture, which begins shooting in August, is a gothic tale about a father avenging his daughter’s death, inspired by the Thierry Jonquet novel Mygale. It stars Antonio Banderas, whose breakthrough came in the Almodovar-directed Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down. Banderas stars with Talk to Her stars Elena Anaya and Marisa Paredes.
While everybody wonders when a domestic distribution deal will be locked for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Javier Bardem-starrer Biutiful, another film that premiered at Cannes has gotten a deal. Sony Pictures Classics bought North American rights to Life, Above All, the Oliver Schmitz-directed film that was awarded the Francois Chalais Prize for films dedicated to the values of life affirmation and journalism. An adaptation of the 2005 Allan Stratton novel Chanda’s Secrets, the film focuses on a young South African girl who fights to rescue the people she loves. SPC chiefs Michael Barker and Tom Bernard made the deal with Munich-based sales company Bavaria Film International. Barker and Bernard had a productive Cannes, also acquiring Mike Leigh’s Another Year and the Xavier Beauvois-directed Of Gods and Men, which also unspooled in competition.