Toronto: Sean Penn's 'The Last Face' Goes to Saban Films for North America

The Last Face -Filmed in South Africa -H 2016
Courtesy of Kelly Walsh

The African war drama, which stars Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem, bowed in Cannes.

Saban Films has acquired North American rights to Sean Penn's African war drama The Last Face, which stars Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem.

Penn's humanitarian romancer, financed by Bill Pohlad's River Road Entertainment, faced social media critics the director had to defend against when debuting in competition at Cannes.

From a script by Erin Dignam, Last Face stars Theron as the director of an international aid organization working in Liberia who embarks on a love affair with a stubborn and impulsive relief-aid doctor, played by Bardem.

However, their mutual passion for the value of life is matched by the intensity of their opposing opinions on how to best solve the conflict that surrounds them, creating a seemingly insurmountable rift. The pic also stars Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color), Jean Reno and Jared Harris.

"This is a thought-provoking film with unrivaled star-power and commanding performances,” Saban Films president Bill Bromiley said Thursday in a statement. River Road's Pohlad shares producing credits on Last Face with FilmHaven Entertainment’s Matt Palmieri and Bill Gerber. Jon Kuyper served as executive producer.

Bromiley and Ness Saban negotiated the distribution deal for Saban Films. CAA handled North American rights, with Lionsgate selling foreign rights.