EXCLUSIVE: Swen, already an established distributor in Latin America, is launching its U.S. arm in a big way, snagging rights to Una, the drama that stars Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn and Riz Ahmed based on David Harrower’s provocative Olivier-winning play Blackbird.
As part of the deal, Swen has partnered with Eammon Films to handle the theatrical release and Vision Films to distribute ancillary platforms, marking the first in a slate of planned theatrical releases for the new partnership. A summer or early fall theatrical release date is being eyed for the pic, which bowed at Telluride last fall.
“We are very excited to be entering the U.S. market and have a great team in place to bring this acclaimed film to audiences across the country,” Swen Group founder Murray Lipnik said.
The adaptation penned by Harrower and directed by Benedict Andrews in his feature debut, follows Una (Mara), who 15 years earlier ran away with an older man named Ray (Mendelsohn), a crime for which he was arrested and imprisoned. When she comes across a photo of him in a trade magazine, Una tracks him down and turns up at his workplace. Her abrupt arrival threatens to destroy Ray’s new life and derail her stability. Unspoken secrets and buried memories surface as they sift through the wreckage of their past. Tara Fitzgerald, Tobias Menzies, Natasha Little and Ruby Stokes co-star.
Michelle Williams and Jeff Daniels starred in the Broadway revival of the play last year.
WestEnd Films negotiated the Una deal. Jean Doumanian and Patrick Daly are producers with WestEnd’s Maya Amsellem and Bron Creative. Kevin Loader, Sharon Harel and Eve Schoukroun of WestEnd are executive producers with Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth and Andrew Pollack, and Film4’s David Kosse and Sam Lavender.
“I am thrilled and honored to be working with Swen,” said Eammon Films’ Rob Lynch. “Una is an incredible film with absolute bravura direction by Benedict Andrews and flat-out extraordinary and riveting performances by Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn.”
Added Vision Films managing director and CEO Lise Romanoff: “Rooney Mara’s performance is unnerving, and the story filled with conflict, intensity and emotions will stay with you long after you’ve seen it.”