Ahead of their respective world premieres at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Selects has acquired U.S. distribution rights to two dramas in the official competition: Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation and The Unknown Girl (above) from directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; both film were picked up from Wild Bunch. Sundance Selects now has four films being showcased in the main selection of Cannes, having acquired the French drama From the Land of the Moon (starring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard) prior to festival’s announcement last Thursday; sister distributor IFC Films previously picked up Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper starring Kristen Stewart.
Graduation is a Romanian drama that centers on the theme of parenting in a small town, a place where everyone knows your name. Mungiu wrote the script as well and the film features Vlad Ivanov (Snowpiercer). Mingui is no stranger to prestigious film festival, having won the Palme d’Or (Cannes’ top prize) for the 2007 film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, a movie that so acclaimed that after it failed to receive an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category, the Academy adopted a new voting system to vet international fare. He also earned a Best Screenplay prize at Cannes for his 2012 film Beyond the Hills. Sundance Selects previously released Beyond the Hills and IFC took care of U.S. distribution duties for 4 Months.
The Unknown Girl is a Belgium title that revolves around a doctor investigating the identity of a patient who died after refusing treatment. Adéle Haenel (The Forbidden Room) and Jérémie Renier (In Bruges) star in the film; the Dardenne brothers also penned the screenplay. The Dardennes have a storied history with Cannes, having earned the Palme d’Or twice before in their careers for 1999 film Rosetta and 2002’s L’enfant. Their last trip to Croisette was with 2014’s Two Days, One Night, an economical human drama which Sundance Selects distributed in the U.S. for which lead Marion Cotillard earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
No release dates have been set yet for either Graduation or The Unknown Girl. The 2016 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 11th-22nd.