Italian powerhouse Medusa has acquired Pan Nalin’s “Last Film Show,” which is being sold worldwide by Orange Studio. Medusa will distribute in Italy.
Orange Studio and Medusa revealed the deal on the sidelines of the ongoing Venice Film Festival.
Nalin is known for his eclectic, and visually striking, body of work including “Samsara,” “Valley of Flowers” and “Angry Indian Goddesses.”
The partly autobiographical drama “Last Film Show” takes Nalin back to his roots in Saurashtra, Gujarat, western India, where it was filmed. The story is set against the backdrop of Indian cinemas witnessing a massive transition from celluloid to digital where hundreds of single-screen cinemas are either in ruins or have disappeared altogether.
The film follows 9-year-old boy Samay, whose life turns upside down after watching his first movie at the Galaxy Cinema. He passionately falls in love with films against his father’s wish. Samay strikes a deal with Fazal, the projectionist, who will let him watch movies for free in exchange for eating the contents of his lunchbox. Their food-for-films deal turns into an endearing friendship, but heartbreaking choices lie ahead.
The film world premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it opened the Spotlight section, and went on to be the runner-up at the audience awards. It will have its China premiere at the Beijing International Film Festival later this month, where it is competing for the Tiantan Award with a jury led by Gong Li. It will also play at several festivals in the fall.
“We are very happy to distribute the film ‘Last Film Show’ in Italy,” said Giampaolo Letta, CEO of Medusa Film. “We strongly believe in this magic movie which represents for us the great power of cinema and its renaissance after this extremely difficult period, with the moving story of a child who falls in love with the cinematic image. We think that Nalin’s film will be one of the most important movies for the next year.”
Orange Studio has already sold the picture to the U.S. (Samuel Goldwyn Films), Japan (Shochiku), Germany and Austria (Neue Visionen), Spain (Karma Films), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo), Russia/CIS (Capella), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Bohemia Motion Picture), Israel (Red Cape/Nachson), Turkey (Filmarti), Scandinavia (Studio Show Entertainment) and U.K. (Hyphen Films). Orange Studio will handle the release in France.
“We’re thrilled to add Italy to the list of territories where moviegoers will have the opportunity to experience the love letter to the magic of cinema ‘Last Film Show’ embodies, especially with a release operated by the fantastic team of Medusa,” said Kristina Zimmermann, CEO of Orange Studio.
The film is produced by Dheer Momaya for Jugaad Motion Picture, Nalin for Monsoon Films and Marc Duale for Stranger88 in co-production with Virginie Lacombe of Virginie Films and Eric Dupont of Incognito Films.
“Medusa coming on board to distribute ‘Last Film Show’ is the greatest honor for an Indian film,” said Nalin. “Since my debut feature ‘Samsara,’ Italian audiences have always embraced my movies with great passion. So in this magical land of cinema, it is so exciting to have a great partner like Medusa, and I am certain that ‘Last Film Show’ will entertain and inspire Italian people in many ways and make them fall in love with movies all over again.”
Both Orange Studio and Samuel Goldwyn Films believe that the film is a serious contender for India at the Oscars’ international feature category and will be backing the film’s team in the campaign. The outfits previously teamed for “Another Round,” “The Father” and “The Artist,” all of which went on to Oscar glory.