Film Movement president Michael Rosenberg struck the deal at the recent MIA market, held during Rome Film Fest, with Jan Naszewski’s Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales.
The film has been a box office hit in its native Poland, attracting 488,000 admissions in just 10 days, equating to an impressive gross of $2.6m. It has sold to 30+ international territories.
Film Movement is lining up a release for 2020 and, alongside New Europe and the Polish Film Fund, is planning to give the film an awards season push – it will also feature as part of Deadline’s LA Contenders event on November 2.
Corpus Christi stars Bartosz Bielenia as a 20-year-old who experiences a spiritual transformation in a youth detention centre. Though his previous crime denies him the opportunity to officially learn to serve as clergy, he pursues his dream by dressing as a priest and ministering a small-town parish. Mateusz Pacewicz wrote the screenplay and producers were Leszek Bodzak and Aneta Cebula-Hickinbotham at Aurum Film.
WFS Walter Film Studio, Canal+ Poland, Podkapracki Region Fund and Les Contes Modernes were co-producers, with finance coming from the Polish Film Institute and CNC Cinemas Du Monde – Institut Francais.
The deal follows Film Movement’s recent acquisition of Hlynur Palmason’s Icelandic feature A White, White Day, also from New Europe, which is Iceland’s entry for the International Oscar.
Film Movement’s slate also includes Dian Yi’nan’s Chinese gangland noir The Wild Goose Lake and Bertrand Bonello’s Zombi Child.
New Europe had both Jorunn Myklebust Syversen’s Disco and Grímur Hákonarson’s The County at Toronto this year.