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'Reality' Inks Distribution Deals in 9 Territories

Cannes Film Still Reality - H 2012
"Reality"

The Matteo Garrone-directed comedy, which won a Cannes award, tells the story of a fishmonger whose life is put in disarray when he is convinced he will be selected for a reality TV program.

ROME -- Reality, the latest effort from two-time Cannes Grand Prix-winning director Matteo Garrone, signed nine new distribution deals, sales company Fandango Portobello reported Monday.

The film -- a quirky comedy about an shady Italian fish seller whose life is upset when he believed he was going to appear on the reality television program Big Brother -- won Garrone his second Grand Prix prize in Cannes, following the success of organized crime thriller Gomorrah in 2008. The gritty Gomorrah went on to win five European Film Awards and to garner a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign film.

“Visually dazzling, [Reality] is rich in film history and cultural comment,” Fandango Portobello said in a statement. “Through complex layers of empathy and satire, it defines the state of contemporary society and the impact of reality TV on people’s lives and aspirations.”

U.S. rights to the film were already acquired by Oscilloscope, which said it would probably release it stateside in 2013. In the latest round of sales, rights were picked up in Spain by Wanda Vision, by Curious in Australia, in Portugal by Midas Filmes, in Russia by Cinema Prestige, by Demiurg in the former Yugoslavia, in Brazil by Mares Film, in Greece by Seven Films, by the Film Point Group in Poland, and by Suez in Hungary. Co-producer Fandango will distribute the film in Italy starting in September.

The film attracted attention in Cannes in part because protagonist Aniello Arena, who played the role of the fish seller, is in jail for murder. Arena was allowed to leave prison during the day to make the film, but worked with guards watching and he was required to return to prison each night. Garrone discovered him acting in a prison acting troupe he came in contact with in connection with Gomorrah.