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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

Farhadi Not Forgotten; Cinema Guild Dig into The Past for “About Elly”

Rarely do we report on films being picked up a good half decade after the fact, but Cinema Guild’s Ryan Krivoshey saw value in Asghar Farhadi’s fourth featuring outing which had originally found a U.S distributor but ultimately the co. sank with he film prior to release. Predating 2011’s A Separation and 2013’s The Past (read our Cannes review)About Elly will now open theatrically on April 8, 2015 at New York’s Film Forum before expanding nationally. Starring Golshifteh Farahani, the pic was a Berlin Film festival goodie precursor, landing Farhadi the Best Director at the Berlin Film Festival before he returned a won Golden and Silver Bears at the German festvial two years later.

Gist: With the return of their friend Ahmad from Germany, a group of old college pals (two married couples and a brother and sister, along with three young kids) decide to reunite for a weekend outing by the Caspian Sea. The fun starts right away as they quickly catch on to the plan of lively Sepideh, who has brought along Elly, her daughter’s kindergarten teacher, in hopes of setting her up with recently divorced Ahmad. But seemingly trivial lies, which start accumulating from the moment the group arrives at the seashore, suddenly swing round and come back full force when one afternoon Elly suddenly vanishes. Her mysterious disappearance sets in motion a series of deceptions and revelations that threaten to shatter everything they hold dear.

Worth Noting:  As Peter Bradshaw underlines in his 2012 review, apparently, there was a similar situation that occurred with the U.K release. His fifth film came before his fourth film.

Do We Care?: While online availability in other regions complicates profit margins, if future foreign film distributors manage to get titles on the cheap and then push them theatrically — it’s one way to go relatively not that far back into a contempo filmmaker’s recent past.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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