Focus Features’ multiplatform label Focus World has acquired U.S. rights to Natalie Portman’s feature directorial debut, A Tale Of Love And Darkness, which premiered at Cannes last year. Focus World will open the movie in a platform theatrical release later this year in contention for the Oscars.
The film is based on Amos Oz’s bestselling memoir about his childhood growing up against the backdrop of the latter days of Mandate Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. The family drama set against war-torn Jerusalem is told through the eyes of a young boy whose adolescence is impacted by a devastating family tragedy and a turbulent and changing world. The project has been a labor of love for Portman, who produced the movie and wrote the screenplay. Amir Tessler and Gilad Kahana star. The film is vibrantly shot by DP Slawomir Idziak and features a sublime piano score by Nicholas Britell.
The feature was produced by Ram Bergman and David Mandil and executive produced by Nicolas Chartier whose Voltage Pictures was a financier on the film, Allison Shearmur and Erika Olde.
The deal was negotiated by Focus World SVP Anjay Nagpal and EVP Business Affairs Beth Lemberger and by CAA on behalf of the filmmakers. Given the film’s Hebrew language and intense subject matter, this title took some time to sell stateside coming out of last year’s Cannes Film Festival.