Venice Win Should Bump 'Anomalisa' Sales at TIFF

The Grand Jury Prize-awarded animated feature from Charlie Kaufman is arguably the highest-profile title among this year’s Venice winners and the one with the most obvious crossover appeal.

Hanway Films, Celluloid Dreams, Gaumont and The Film Factory are among the TIFF sales outfits celebrating after the Sept. 12 awards gala in Venice, hoping that their films’ Gold and Silver Lions will transmute into major sales.

Venice’s Lions
have had the Midas
touch of late, after Gravity and
Birdman leveraged
that success at the
Italian festival to Oscar and box-office glory.

Hanway’s Anomalisa, which won the Grand Jury Prize, looks to be the prime candidate for an awards bump. The animated feature from Charlie Kaufman, co-directed by Duke Johnson, is arguably the highest-profile title among this year’s Venice winners and the one with the most obvious crossover appeal. It helps that the film was one of the few Venice titles to receive near-universal critical praise.

Anomalisa stars David Thewlis as a customer service guru who feels everyone he meets looks the same, until he meets Lisa, voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh. Tom Noonan, amazingly, plays everyone else in the animated film.

Several other titles, including Lorenzo Vigas’ Golden Lion winner From Afar, from Celluloid; The Match Factory’s Frenzy, from Turkish director Emin Alper, which took the special jury prize; and Gaumont’s Courted (best actor and best screenplay) could see significant interest from arthouse players in the wake of their triumphs.

A potential breakout, given its genre hook, could be Pablo Trapero’s best director winner El Clan, which looks at the Puccio crime clan that killed and kidnapped people in Argentina in the 1980s.

 
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