As the Berlin Film Festival is ready to start, one of the films premiering in competition has been sold for U.S. distribution. Sony Pictures Classics has purchased all American rights for Aloft, a drama headlined by Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Connelly. The film is the English-language debut of Claudia Llosa, a Peruvian filmmaker who previously directed The Milk of Sorrow, the 2009 winner of the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize Golden Bear Award and an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010.
Told on dual planes, Aloft focuses on a renowned artist and mother (Connelly) who many years later is reunited with the son she abandoned thanks to an arrangemeny by a journalist. The reunion of mother and son causes complex changes in both. Llosa also wrote the screenplay and the film also features Mélanie Laurant (Inglourious Basterds, Beginners, the upcoming Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Enemy) as the journalist and Cillian Murphy (Inception, the upcoming Transcendence) as Connelly’s grown son.
The deal with Sony Classics began before the start of the 64th Berlin Film Festival; Aloft debuts in its in-competition slot on February 12th and marks the first U.S. sale for the festival. Sony already purchased a number of high profiles at the Sundance Film Festival in January, including the Grand Jury Prize winner Whiplash and the critically lauded Ira Sachs’ film Love is Strange, which featured actors John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a couple in decades-long romantic relationship with one another. No release date has been targeted as of yet, however the critical reaction of Aloft after its Berlin premiere may elude to an end-of-the-year, awards qualifying run.
Aloft features what may perhaps be a return to top form opportunity for Connelly, who in the years since winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for 2001’s A Beautiful Mind has retreated with a relatively low profile. She will appear in the Valentine’s Day romance A Winter’s Tale and once again appear alongside Beautiful Mind co-star Russell Crowe in the eagerly anticipated Noah due in March. That film will reunite Connelly with director Darren Aronofsky, who previously directed the actress to one of her most critically acclaimed roles to date with Requiem For a Dream. Below is a featured clip of Aloft.