Cannes: Sundance Selects Nabs North American Rights to Clio Barnard’s 'The Selfish Giant'

1:53 PM PST 05/23/2013 by Tatiana Siegel
"The Selfish Giant"

This marks the fourth major acquisition during the festival for the distributor.

Sundance Selects continued its Cannes buying streak by acquiring North American rights to Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant.

The film, written and directed by Barnard (The Arbor), stars Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas and Sean Gilder.

Described as a contemporary fable, the story centers on a 13-year-old boy named Arbor (Chapman) and his best friend, Swifty (Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, the two boys meet Kitten (Gilder), a local scrap dealer. They begin collecting scrap metal for him, using a horse and cart. Swifty has a natural gift with horses, while Arbor emulates Kitten -- keen to impress him and make some money. However, Kitten begins to favor Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded, driving a wedge between the boys. Tensions build, leading to a tragic event, which transforms them all.

The Selfish Giant, which was produced by Tracy O’Riordan with the backing of British Film Institute and Film4, made its world premiere in Directors’ Fortnight at this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Sundance Selects/IFC Films president Jonathan Sehring called the film "a rare poetic exploration of youth that is sure to have a lasting effect on audiences."

This marks the fourth major acquisition during the festival for Sundance Selects -- a sister label to IFC Films and IFC Midnight that is owned and operated by AMC Networks. The distributor already closed deals for U.S. rights to Francois Ozon's Young & Beautiful, U.S. rights to Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Color and U.S. rights to the Marion Cotillard starrer Two Days, One Night.

Arianna Bocco negotiated the deal for Sundance Selects/IFC Films. Mike Goodridge of Protagonist Pictures repped the filmmakers.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27 
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