Cannes 2012: The Weinstein Co. Acquires Australian Music Feature 'The Sapphires'


On the eve of the opening of the 65th Cannes Film Festival, The Weinstein Co. has acquired U.S. rights – as well rights in a number of other territories – to Wayne Blair’s Australian feature The Sapphires. The film is scheduled to play the festival May 19 as an Out of Competition selection.

In its deal with Goalpost Film, TWC took all worldwide rights with the exception of the U.K. and Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Canada, Israel, Portugal and airlines.

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Inspired by a true story, The Sapphires follows four young and talented Australian Aboriginal girls from a remote mission as they learn about love, friendship and war when their girl group The Sapphires entertains the U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. It was written by Aboriginal playwright Tony Briggs, whose mother and family members were part of The Sapphires group, along with Keith Thompson. The film was produced by Rosemary Blight of Goalpost Film and Kylie du Fresne.

The film stars Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids), Deborah Mailman (Radiance) and Australian pop artist Jessica Mauboy. Warwick Thornton, who won the 2009 Camera d’Or at Cannes for Samson and Delilah, served as director of photography.

The acquisition was announced Tuesday by TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, COO David Glasser and Co-senior vps acquisitions Negeen Yazdi and Dan Guando.

“These girls light up the screen as much as their music lights up the stage,” Weinstein said. "We’re thrilled to bring the stories and music from these sisters to audiences all over the world."

The deal was negotiated by TWC’s Glasser, Yazdi and senior vp acquisitions and business affairs Michal Steinberg with Goalpost’s Tristan Whalley and Blight and Christos Michaels and Nicki Parfitt of the law firm Lee and Thompson. 

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