Saturday, September 24, 2022

Penelope Cruz & Antonio Banderas Venice Comedy ‘Official Competition’ Sells To UK

EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, Protagonist Pictures has closed a UK all rights deal with Curzon for Spanish-language pic Official Competition starring Antonio BanderasPenelope Cruz and Oscar Martínez.

In Official Competition, Oscar winner Cruz plays renowned filmmaker Lola Cuevas, who is recruited by a billionaire entrepreneur who impulsively decides to create an iconic movie. Banderas will star as Hollywood heartthrob Félix Rivero, and joining them is Argentinian actor Oscar Martínez (The Distinguished Citizen), who plays radical theatre actor Iván Torres.

The Spanish-language comedy, directed by Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat from a script they wrote with Andrés Duprat, will also screen in the Special Presentations section of the Toronto International Film Festival and will open this year’s Perlak Section at the San Sebastian Film Festival.

The deal for the film that debuts as part of the competition line up at Venice, was negotiated between Curzon’s Managing Director Louisa Dent and Protagonist’s Chief Commercial Officer George Hamilton and Chief Operating Officer James Pugh.

Produced by The Mediapro Studio, the film has already sold to a string of international indie buyers.

Curzon’s Dent said: “We are incredibly excited to work with such a talented cast and such lauded directors. We’re thrilled to bring this hilarious and witty film to UK audiences at a time when it is much needed.”

Protagonist CCO George Hamilton added: “Our friends at Curzon have a prodigious record in delivering high-quality films to discerning UK audiences, making them the perfect partners to distribute this whip-smart comedy, led by A-list talent at the top of their game, and helmed by some of Spain’s most fiercely talented filmmakers. We know Official Competition is in the best hands possible.”

UK sales firm Protagonist, overseen by CEO Dave Bishop, recently made a bunch of promotions and hires. Head of sales George Hamilton has become chief commercial officer, commercial director James Pugh became chief operating officer and Anne-Lise Fernandez moved from director of operations to head of operations and post-production.

Meanwhile, Janina Vilsmaier was promoted from director of sales to head of sales, Emma Kinnersley from financial controller to finance director, Mounia Wissinger from director of marketing to head of marketing, distribution and publicity and Alexandra da Silva from sales assistant to sales coordinator.

The company also hired Jonathan Walik as a sales executive, Isabel Ivars as library and festivals manager and Alexis Hamaide as marketing manager.


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