Cannes: Cohen Group Steers 'Mustang' to North America

The Turkish drama screened in the festival's Directors' Fortnight sidebar.

The Cohen Media Group has acquired all North American distribution rights to Mustang, the feature directorial debut of Turkish-French filmmaker Deniz Gamze Erguven.

The drama about five young sisters faced with sexual repression was shown in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. CMG plans to release the film theatrically in early 2016.

"Denis Gamze Erguven has a very distinctive voice and we are proud to bring this superb, surprising and important film to U.S. audiences," said CMG chairman and CEO Charles S. Cohen. "Mustang is precisely the kind of provocative and artistic film that Cohen Media Group prides itself on distributing."

Mustang, which The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney described as "transfixing," is set in a Black Sea coastal village in modern-day Turkey, where five orphaned sisters live with their grandmother, an aunt and an abusive uncle. It’s the last day of school and the girls celebrate their summer freedom by innocently frolicking in the surf with some boys. But their supposedly lewd behavior is witnessed by a stern neighbor, who tells the girls’ grandmother that they are behaving inappropriately.

“Deniz Gamze Erguven’s incredibly confident feature film directorial debut takes a serious subject and handles it with such a sure yet light touch that one can’t help being emotionally connected to the young women she portrays with great compassion," said CMG president Daniel Battsek.

Last year, CMG acquired competition entry Timbuktu, which went on to receive an Oscar nomination and earn $1.1 million in U.S. box office.