Front Row Snaps Up Over 23 Cannes Titles for Middle East, North Africa

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Swiss Army Man'

The distributor acquired buzzy titles including 'Under the Silver Lake,' 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer' and 'Rebel in the Rye.'

Almost a month after Cannes' Marche du Film closed its doors for another year, Front Row Filmed Entertainment has revealed the extent of its business on the French Riviera.

The Dubai-based distributor, which operates across Middle East and parts of North Africa, on Friday announced that it had picked up more than 23 titles.

Front Row's Cannes shopping bag included the likes of Swiss Army Man, which it acquired from A24, and Yorgos Lanthimos' next feature, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman, from HanWay.

From Vincent Maraval's Insiders banner, the distributor bought David Robert Mitchell's hotly anticipated Under the Silver Lake, starring Dakota Johnson and Andrew Garfield; Denis Gamze Erguven's King, starring Halle Berry; and the Lynn Ramsey thriller You Were Never Really Here, starring Joaquin Phoenix.

Other acquisitions included J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye from Bloom, Andy Serkis' Breathe from Embankment Films and the Ridley Scott-produced thriller Twisted from Verve Ventures.

In perhaps its most locally focused deal, Front Row also teamed with XYZ Films to pick up the Farsi-language horror hit Under the Shadow, which it will release theatrically and on VOD before its worldwide release on Netflix.

“While continuing to focus on theatrical titles, we also need to observe the way the business of film is quickly shifting," said Front Row's managing partner Gianluca Chakra. "Other than Netflix and StarzPlay, SVOD platforms are 'shrooming in the region (and worldwide), which are bound to change the viewing habits of moviegoers directly competing not only with pay and free TV networks, but eventually also with exhibitors. As distributors, we need to satisfy the needs of each, which is what we hope our selection will do."

Front Row’s upcoming releases include Oliver Stone’s Snowden, Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, the local action-comedy Abou Shanab toplined by Egyptian star Yasmine Abdel Aziz and Cannes competition entry American Honey.