Cohen Media Group has acquired US distribution rights to director Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun, a drama focusing on the sisterhood of women taken prisoner by Kurdistan extremists, and director Jia Zhanqke’s Ash Is Purest White, a Chinese drama detailing a woman’s romance with a mobster.

Charles S. Cohen, the owner, chairman, and CEO of Cohen Media Group, announced the CMG deals in advance of the closing ceremony of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where both films had their world premiere.

Cohen Media Group has distributed over 113 feature films and 10 shorts and has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, including The Salesman from Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and the Oscar-nominated Faces Places and The Insult.

Girls of the Sun stars Golshifteh Farahani and Emmanuelle Bercot and tells a story of resistance and sisterhood. Set in modern-day Kurdistan, the drama centers on Bahar (Farahani, Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, The Patience Stone), a young lawyer visiting her family. In a bloody attack led by extremists, her husband is killed and she’s taken prisoner with her son and thousands of other women and children. United by their quest for hope and justice, a universal sisterhood is born out of an unimaginable situation.

John Kochman and Georgia Poivre of Cohen Media Group negotiated the agreement for Girls of the Sun with Adeline Fontan Tessaur, co-founder and international sales director of Paris-based sales and acquisition firm Elle Driver.

Ash Is Purest White stars Tao Zhao and Liao Fan. It tells the story of Qiao, in love with Bin, a local mobster. During a fight between rival gangs, she fires a gun to protect him – which results in a five-year prison sentence. Upon her release, she goes looking for Bin to pick up where they left off.

CMG’s Kochman and Poivre negotiated the agreement with Fionnuala Jamison, head of International Sales for MK2.

“These films, while set far apart from each other, both geographically and culturally, share an urgency and passion in stories of people whose lives have been thrown into chaos,” said Charles S. Cohen. “We’re thrilled to bring both films to wider audiences.”

Adeline Fontan Tessaur of Elle Driver added, “We are extremely proud to have been able to bring to light the destiny of these astonishing Yazidi Women fighters with Eva Husson’s impassioned film, Girls of the Sun. We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with Cohen Media Group in the US, given their proven brio with distributing resonant cinema and powerful stories. It is a great satisfaction to bring such an important film to the American audience.”

“We are extremely proud to have been able to bring to light the destiny of theses astonishing Yazidi Women fighters, with Eva Husson’s impassioned film Girls of the Sun. We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with Cohen Media Group in the US, given their proven brio with distributing resonant author cinema and powerfull stories. It is a great satisfaction to bring such an important film to the American audience.”

Fionnuala Jamison of MK2 praised Ash director Jia ZhangKe as “one of the world’s truly great filmmakers and with Ash he delivers anther profound and riveting look at China. While his wife and muse Zhao Tao gives a powerhouse performance as a gangster’s moll. Cohen Media’s passion for this epic love story and their excellent track record in bringing foreign language films to the Oscar’s leaves us no doubt in their ability to maximize ASH’s potential. We are thrilled to be working together.’