Cannes Winner 'Leviathan' Sold to Nearly 40 Territories


But exhibition prospects of the best script winner in its home country, Russia, are still uncertain.

MOSCOW -- Rights to Andrei Zvyagintsev's Leviafan (Leviathan), which won the best script award at Cannes, have been sold to almost 40 territories, but distribution prospects at home are still uncertain.

Pyramid International has finalized deals for the sale of the rights to Portugal's Leopardo Filmes, Hong Kong's Edko Films, Taiwan's Pomi International, Israel's Lev Films and NonStop, which covers Scandinavia. In France, the movie is scheduled to open Sept. 24.

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Earlier, similar deals were struck with companies covering more than 30 territories, including Curzon/Artificial Eye for the United Kingdom, Palace Ent. for Australian and New Zealand, Golem for Spain and Imovision for Brazil. Sony Pictures Classics snagged U.S. and Canada rights.

The Russian trade publication ProfiCinema reported that companies from Italy, Mexico and Argentina have also been in negotiations, but no deals have been struck yet.

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Meanwhile, the exhibition prospects of the movie in Russia are uncertain. A new law banning profanity in cinema and theaters comes into effect as of July 1, and Leviathan contains quite a bit of bad language. Under the law, movies containing profanity are not supposed to be issued exhibition licenses, although it isn't yet clear whether bad language could just be beeped out or if scenes containing it would have to be recut.

In any case, Leviathan is to have its Russian premiere as the closing film of the country's largest national film festival, Kinotavr, early next month, and it is to be screened in its original cut as the law won't yet have come into force and would not apply to festival screenings anyway.

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