EXCLUSIVE: French distributor ARP Selection has just acquired Cannes Competition movie EO by Polish veteran Jerzy Skolimowski.
The film is a vision of modern Europe as seen through the eyes of a donkey. HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and the deal was negotiated by Gabrielle Stewart and ARP’s Michèle Halberstadt.
EO is presented by Skopia Film and Jeremy Thomas and stars Sandra Drzymalska, Isabelle Huppert, Lorenzo Zurzolo and Mateusz Kosciukiewicz. Pic was produced by Ewa Piaskowska, Jerzy Skolimowski and Eileen Tasca.
Jeremy Thomas is the executive producer. Screenplay was written by Ewa Piaskowska and Jerzy Skolimowski.
Here’s the film’s official synopsis: “The world is a mysterious place when seen through the eyes of an animal. EO, a grey donkey with melancholic eyes, meets good and bad people on his life’s path, experiences joy and pain, endures the wheel of fortune randomly turn his luck into disaster and his despair into unexpected bliss. But not even for a moment does he lose his innocence.”
We’ve heard good things about the meditative film. A little like Le Quattro Volte and The Truffle Hunters, it could be a balm at a time of growing global anxiety and stress, not least due to conflict in Europe. If the first image of the film (above) is anything to go by, this could be a strikingly beautiful movie too. No doubt in the hurried context of the Cannes Croisette, embattled journalists will refer to it affectionately as “the donkey movie”.
Michèle Halberstadt commented: “We were blown away by the poetry, the beauty, the emotions Jerzy Skolimovski is able to convey with such grace and simplicity. It is good to be reminded that we humans are just another kind of animal.”
Jeremy Thomas added: “We are all so happy to be working with our friends at ARP and feel that we have the best home possible for EO!”
Skolomowski and Thomas have a long-standing relationship which began when Thomas produced his second film, The Shout, which won the Grand Prix du Jury at Cannes in 1978. Skolomowski and Thomas also collaborated on Essential Killing, which won the Special Jury Prize and the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at Venice Film Festival, and 11 Minutes which also screened in Competition at Venice.
HanWay Films’ Cannes market slate also includes Meg Ryan’s What Happens Later starring Ryan and David Duchovny; Uberto Pasolini’s The Return starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche; Branded, an origin story of organized crime gangs in America’s prison system directed by Kieron Hawkes; Stefano Mordini’s 2 Win starring Riccardo Scamarcio, Daniel Brühl and Volker Bruch; and Kitty Green’s social thriller The Royal Hotel.
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