Angelina Jolie's Directorial Debut Lands U.S. Distributor (Cannes)


UPDATED: FilmDistrict sets Dec. 23 release date for "In the Land of Blood and Honey."

CANNES -- FilmDistrict has been tapped to release Angelina Jolie’s feature directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, which is now slated to open Dec. 23 in the U.S.

The pact was announced Sunday in Cannes by Graham King and his producing partner Tim Headington, together with Peter Schlessel, CEO of FilmDistrict, the new production and distribution company that GK Films launched last year.

GK Films also produced the film, which Jolie wrote as well as directed.

Land is set against the backdrop of the Bosnian Civil War in the 1990s, and Jolie said, “The film is specific to the Bosnian War, but it’s also universal. I wanted to tell a story of how human relationships and behavior are deeply affected by living inside a war.”

It stars Zana Marjanovic (Snow), Goran Kostic and Rade Serbedzija (In the Rain). Jolie worked with a completely local cast, filming the project in both Serbo-Croation, the language spoken at the time of the war, and English. FilmDistrict will be releasing the English-language version.

“The former Yugoslavia has a rich history of dramatic arts. The cast was extraordinary. I was privileged and honored to work with them and I am very excited for everyone to see their immense talent,” Jolie added.

The project reteams Jolie with King, who produced last year’s thriller The Tourist, in which she starred with Johnny Depp.

“Working with Angelina on this film and story has been a great collaboration and I am extremely proud of this film,” said King. “The filmmaking is impeccable, and signals the arrival of a visceral and compelling storyteller.”

GK Films has several other titles that will also be released stateside in the fall: The Rum Diary, starring Depp, will be released by FilmDistrict on Oct. 28, and Martin Scorsese’s foray into 3D, Hugo Cabret, will be distributed by Paramount on Nov. 23.

Jolie, who has been in Cannes this week to promote DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, in which she voices the character of the Trigress, directed the 2007 documentary A Place in Time before making her current move into helming a narrative feature.