In an expected move, Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American distribution rights to Silencio, the latest drama from famed Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar. Sony Classics has a long-standing relationship with the Oscar-winning writer/director and has distributed ten of Almodóvar’s twenty films, a relationship that began with the filmmaker’s Oscar-nominated 1988 modern classic Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. As usual, Almodóvar both wrote and is directing Silencio, which began filming in Spain last month.
His latest tells the decades-spanning story of Julieta (played by Adriana Ugarte and Emma Suárez, largely unknown actresses stateside making their Almodóvar debuts), a woman on the verge of madness, a recurring theme in the director’s filmography, following the disappearance of her daughter. Spanning from 1985 to the current day, the film recounts the once prosperous days of Julieta before a series of journeys lead her on a struggle of survival. Daniel Grao (The Spanish Apartment), Dario Grandinetti (Wild Tales), Inma Cuesta (Blancanieves), Michelle Jenner (Circuit), and Almodóvar favorite Rossy de Palma (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) co-star.
A large and formidable presence on the international scene for decades due to groundbreaking titles including Matador (1986), Laws of Desire (1987), Live Flesh (1997), and Bad Education (2004), Almodóvar has carved out a distinctive place in modern filmmaking, especially in his characterizations of women and gay characters. Almodóvar’s U.S. presence was augmented with the success of the 1999 melodrama All About My Mother, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
An even rarer coup for a foreign filmmaker, Almodóvar won the Original Screenplay Academy Award and was nominated for Best Director for his 2002 follow-up Talk to Her. The filmmaker also helped paved the way for actors including Antonio Banderas (Matador) and Penélope Cruz (All About My Mother) to international stardom—in the case of Cruz, Almodóvar directed her in an Oscar-nominated and Cannes-winning turn in the 2006 film Volver. Almodóvar’s most recent films include the airplane comedy I’m So Excited! (2013) and the Banderas-headlined The Skin I Live In.
Sony Classics hasn’t confirmed a release date for Silencio, but it will likely arrive sometime in 2016. Everything depends on when the film is completed, but a premiere at next year’s Cannes Film Festival (the director is a favorite there, having won the Director’s Prize for All About My Mother and the Screenplay Prize for Volver) may be likely.