Toronto 2012: Strand Releasing Nabs U.S. Rights to Ulrich Seidl’s 'Paradise' Trilogy

The deal follows "Paradise: Love" and "Paradise: Faith" lighting up the festival circuit.

Strand Releasing has nabbed U.S. rights to Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy.

The first two films in the trilogy (Paradise: Love and Paradise: Faith) have been garnering buzz on the festival circuit, with Love having its world premiere in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and unspooling last week in Telluride.

Love is set on the beaches of Kenya where older European women known as “sugar mamas” come to seek male companionship.  The film centers on Teresa, a 50-year-old Austrian and mother and her search for finding and ultimately buying the affections of the men on the island.

The second film, Faith, is hot off its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where it won the jury prize. The film focuses on Teresa’s sister, Anna Maria, a single woman in her 50s who devotes her summer vacation to doing missionary work. One day, her husband returns after years away, and her life is thrown out of balance.

The third film, Paradise: Hope, will bow in 2013 and deals with Teresa’s daughter, who goes to a diet camp for teenagers and finds love and romance.

The Paradise trilogy deal was done between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Olimpia Pont Cháfer of Coproduction Office.

“Ulrich Seidl is such a unique auteur, one that definitely fits Strand’s sensibilities,” Gerrans said.

Originally the project had been conceived as a single long episodic film, but after spending four years in production and having shot more than 80 hours of rushes, Seidl decided to make three separate feature films.

Strand plans for a 2013 release for all three films beginning in the first quarter.

The trilogy also has been sold in Austria (Stadtkino), Belgium (Lumière), CIS (Maywin), Denmark (Ost for Paradis), France (Happiness), Germany (Neue Visionen), Greece (Feelgood), Italy (Archibald & Academy2), Luxembourg (Lumière), Netherlands (Eye Institut), Norway (AS Fidalgo), Poland (Against Gravity), South Korea (World Cinema), Spain (Golem), Sweden (Triart) and the United Kingdom (Soda Pictures).