Videovision Entertainment’s Head of Acquisition and Distribution, Sanjeev Singh announced the acquisition of the Cannes International Film Festival Official Selection films which will have their world premieres at the Festival. The films are The Immigrant and Only God Forgives which are which are ‘in competition’ and Blood Ties which is screening ‘out of competition.’
Directed by James Gray, The Immigrant stars Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner. The film follows Ewa Cybulski and her sister Magda who sail to New York from their native Poland in search of a new start and the American dream. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, she quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, Ewa encounters Bruno’s cousin, the debonair magician Orlando. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.
Only God Forgives is set in Bangkok where ten years ago Julian killed a cop and went on the run. Today, he manages a Thai boxing club which is a front for a drugs operation. Although he is respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty. When his brother murders a prostitute the police call on retired cop Chang – the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter’s murderer, then ‘restores order’ by chopping off the man’s right hand. Julian’s mother Jenna – the head of a powerful criminal organization – arrives in Bangkok to collect her son’s body. She dispatches Julian to find his brother’s killers and ‘raise hell’. Only God Forgives stars Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas and Vithaya Pansringarm and is directed by Cannes award winning director, Nicolas Winding Refn.
Blood Ties which stars Clive Owen, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis and James Caan, is directed by Guillaume Canet. The film tells the story of Chris Pierzynski has just been released after years in prison for his part in a gangland murder. Waiting reluctantly outside the prison gates is his younger brother, Frank, a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, and their father, who raised them alone, has always favoured Chris – despite all his troubles. Frank has known this since they were kids, and it eats at him like nothing else. But blood is the tie that binds – Frank gives his brother a chance: he shares his home, finds Chris a job, helps him reconnect with his kids and ex-wife. When Chris meets Natalie, the promise of a new life beckons, but his past quickly catches up with him, and his return to a life of crime is inevitable.
In February this year, Videovision also acquired The Cannes Film Festival Closing Night film, Zulu, which was shot on location in Cape Town, stars Orlando Bloom and Forest Whittaker and directed by Jérôme Salle. Zulu is set in Cape Town, 2010 when a mutilated corpse is found in the city’s botanical gardens. As chief of police, Ali Neuman investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding the macabre murder of the daughter of a former rugby champion. In the process, he makes a startling discovery – a new drug, the composition of which is unknown, appears to be the cause of the homicide.
Commenting on the acquisition, Sanjeev Singh said, “We are delighted to have acquired The Immigrant, Only God Forgives and Blood Ties for distribution in South Africa. These high profile films are much sought after, especially as a result of them being chosen for the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection and to have concluded the deals for these films prior to the commencement of the Festival. We are also delighted to have acquired Zulu before it was completed and prior to its selection as the Cannes Closing Film. The films will be released theatrically in South Africa by United International Pictures (South Africa) for Videovision later this year.”