Cannes: Kino Lorber Picks up Berlin Winner 'Synonyms' for North America

Guy Ferrandis/SBS Films

The Nadav Lapid-directed drama, loosely based on his own experience, follows an Israeli man who moves to Paris and tries to flee his country and heritage.

Kino Lorber has picked up North American rights to Nadav Lapid’s Berlin Film Festival winner Synonyms.

Newcomer Tom Mercier stars in Synonyms as Yoav, a young Israeli expat and ex-soldier who tries to escape his country and its legacy by moving to Paris. Refusing to speak Hebrew, in part as a rejection of his own military background, he immerses himself in the language and culture of his new homeland in a search for new identity.

The film is loosely based on Lapid’s own experience as an Israeli ex-pat in Paris. Synonyms is his third feature following the critically acclaimed Policeman and The Kindergarten Teacher. Kino Lorber also released The Kindergarten Teacher stateside.

"After our success with Nadav's powerfully original The Kindergarten Teacher a couple of years ago, we awaited with high expectations his next exploration of the human psyche,” Kino Lorber said. “Synonyms totally blew us away. As formally innovative as it is narratively bold, the film reveals and conceals meaning in each frame. A major auteur has arrived and we can't wait to host him on screens across North America."

This is the second Berlin Festival winner for the New York-based distributor. Kino Lorber also released last year's Berlin Golden Bear winner, Adina Pintilie’s experimental sexual drama Touch Me Not.

The deal for Synonyms was negotiated by Kino Lorber CEO and president Richard Lorber and SBS Films international sales manager Kevin Chneiweiss, who also executive produced the film. Said Ben Said and Michel Merkt from SBS Productions are also co-producers.

Kino Lorber will bow Synonyms theatrically this fall and roll the title out on all platforms this winter.