Cannes: Sundance Selects Nabs Two Competition Films Including Cristian Mungiu's 'Graduation'

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne GETTY - H 2016
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The distributor also scooped up Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's 'The Unknown Girl.'

Just hours after the Cannes Film Festival unveiled its 2016 lineup, Sundance Selects has scooped up U.S. rights to a pair of competition titles: Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Unknown Girl. Both films were acquired from Wild Bunch.

Sundance Selects will be busy on the Croisette this year, given that its film From the Land of the Moon from director Nicole Garcia also will screen in competition. Sister label IFC Films has Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper in competition.

Over the past 10 years, Sundance Selects/IFC Films has had four out of 10 Palme d’Or winners, including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan from last year and Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

Graduation is a family drama that centers on themes of parenting set against the backdrop of a small Romanian town where everybody knows everyone. The film stars Adrian Titieni, Maria Dragus and Lia Bugnar.

The Unknown Girl, which also was written by the Dardennes, stars Adele Haenel, Jeremie Renier, Olivier Gourmet, Fabrizio Rongione and Thomas Doret. The pic centers on a young doctor who hears the doorbell of her practice ring but doesn’t answer. When she’s informed by police the following day that the body of a young woman was discovered nearby, the doctor sets out to learn the woman’s identity.

“We are honored to be working once more both with Cristian Mungiu and the Dardennes," Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said Thursday in a statement. "While these filmmakers have distinct visions, they share an affinity for creating compassionate and gripping portraits of everyday life. They are truly among the best filmmakers in the world, and all of us at Sundance Selects cannot wait to return to Cannes and premiere their latest works.”

Graduation and The Unknown Girl each mark the third film that Sundance Selects is releasing with Mungiu and the Dardennes, respectively.

The deal was negotiated by Sundance Selects/IFC Films' Arianna Bocco and Wild Bunch's Carole Baraton.