The film, written by up-and-comer Stanely Kalu and directed by Ali LeRoi, will make its U.S. premiere after debuting to critical acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival. The story follows the titular character (played by 13 Reasons Why actor Steven Silver), a gay, black teenager trapped in a time loop that forces him to relive his own brutal murder at the hands of a police officer on duty. The Obituary of Tunde Johnson marks LeRoi’s feature directorial debut and Kalu’s first produced feature screenplay.
In addition, Mati Diop’s directorial debut Atlantics will make its U.S. premiere at the fest. The romance set in Senegal was awarded the Sutherland Award at the BFI London Film Festival as well as
The award, named in honour of Toronto native Mary Pickford, recognizes “an emerging female talent who is making groundbreaking strides in the industry.” Pickford was the pioneering actor, producer, and co-founder of United Artists, and the award is being launched in conjunction with United Artists’ centennial this year.
“We’re thrilled to honour the incredible Mati Diop as our inaugural Mary Pickford Award recipient, as United Artists marks its centennial year,” said Vicente, Executive Director and Co-Head of Tiff in an official statement. “She is a vibrant and important new voice within the industry and one to watch closely.
“Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week.
The deals are for worldwide rights with the exception of China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia, and France for “Atlantics” and China, Benelux, Turkey, and France for “I Lost My Body.” Netflix has Svod rights 36-months following theatrical release for France, Benelux, and Switzerland for “Atlantics” and in France for “I Lost My Body.”
“Atlantics” tells the story of 17-year-old Ada, who is in love with Souleiman, but has been promised to another man. One night, Souleiman and his co-workers leave Dakar by sea, in hopes of a better future. Several days later, a fire ruins Ada’s wedding and a mysterious fever starts to spread.
For “Atlantics,” Netflix acquired worldwide rights excluding China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia and France, but it has subscription video on demand (SVoD) rights for 36 months following its theatrical release in France, Benelux and Switzerland. For “I Lost My Body, Netflix acquired worldwide excluding China, Benelux, Turkey and France, but also has SVoD rights for 36 months following its theatrical in France, an individual with knowledge told TheWrap.
Diop’s “Atlantics” played in competition and, on Saturday, was awarded the Grand Prix prize from the jury led by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Diop made her feature directorial debut on the film
For Atlantics, the deal doesn’t include China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia, France, while I Lost My Body excludes China, Benelux, Turkey, France. Atlantics was sold by Fionnuala Jamison at mk2 films. I Lost My Body was sold by Carole Baraton at Charades
Atlantics reps Diop’s feature directorial debut and takes place in Dakar along the Atlantic Coast. Seventeen-year-old Ada is in love with Souleiman, a young construction worker. But she has been promised to another man. One night, Souleiman and his co-workers leave the country by sea, in hopes of a better future. Several days later, a fire ruins Ada’s wedding and a mysterious fever starts to spread.
Netflix made its presence felt on closing night in Cannes, swooping on most of the world on both Mati Diop’s Cannes Grand Prix winner Atlantics and Jérémy Clapin’s Critics’ Week winner I Lost My Body.
The streaming titan made a noise with the late pick-ups, despite its deliberate absence from Competition with its original films due to the strictures of French media chronology laws.
Both deals were for the world excluding France, unsurprisingly, as well as China and Benelux. The Atlantics deal also excluded Switzerland and Russia.
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