IFC Films Takes 'Amy' Director's Historical Drama 'Ali & Nino' for North America

Courtesy of Sundance Institute
'Ali & Nino'

IM Global is selling international rights to the film in Cannes.

IFC Films has acquired North American rights to Asif Kapadia’s historical drama Ali & Nino from worldwide sales agent IM Global and CAA.

Ali & Nino is the feature film adaptation of the global best-selling novel by Kurban Said and stars Maria Valverde (Exodus: Gods and Kings), Adam Bakri (Omar), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland) and Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Wonder Woman).

Directed by Kapadia, who won the best documentary Oscar for Amy, the film is based on a screenplay by Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) and had its premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

The epic love story Ali & Nino is one of the most original works of 20th century literature. Since its initial publication in 1937, the acclaimed novel has been translated into 33 languages worldwide with nearly 100 reprints.

“IFC Films is very excited to be working with Asif Kapadia who, throughout his career, has shown a unique capacity for making films that are not only visually compelling but emotionally honest as well," Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films, said in a statement.

The film focuses on Ali Khan and Nino Kipiani, who live in Baku, the oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan, which at the beginning of the 20th century is a melting pot. "Ali is a Muslim, with his warrior ancestors' passion for the desert; and Nino is a Christian Georgian girl with sophisticated European ways," according to a plot description. "The two have loved each other since childhood, and Ali is determined that he will marry Nino, despite their cultural differences, but there is not only the obstacle of their different religions and parental consent to overcome. The First World War breaks out, and Baku’s oil becomes the focus of Russia’s vie for power."

IM Global is selling international rights to Ali & Nino at the upcoming Cannes film market.

Kapadia earlier this year unveiled that he also is directing Maradona, a documentary on legendary Argentinean soccer player Diego Maradona. Martin Scorsese also has teamed with the British filmmaker on a narrative feature film about the story of car company Rolls Royce, entitled Silver Ghost.