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Oscar Bets are On: Weinsteins Grab Rights to Julian Schnabel’s Miral

The Weinsteins have grabbed the North American rights to what will be a hotly pursued title on the Fall festival circuit. While Julian Schnabel declined an unpopular out of comp showing at Cannes, he’ll have curators from Telluride, TIFF, NYFF and Venice all trying to grab what I deem will be an awards race frontrunner. The next question is: what kind of release is the company plotting for Miral and where will it fit alongside titles such as The Company Men, Nowhere Boy on the 8th of October, 26th of November they’ll be launching The King’s Speech and 31st is reserved for Blue Valentine.

The Weinsteins have grabbed the North American rights to what will be a hotly pursued title on the Fall festival circuit. While Julian Schnabel declined  an unpopular out of comp showing at Cannes, he’ll have curators from Telluride, TIFF, NYFF and Venice all trying to grab what I deem will be an awards race frontrunner. The next question is: what kind of release is the company plotting for Miral and where will it fit alongside titles such as The Company Men, Nowhere Boy on the 8th of October, 26th of November they’ll be launching The King’s Speech and 31st is reserved for Blue Valentine.

Starring Willem Dafoe, Freida Pinto, Alexander Siddig, Hiam Abbass and this is news to me: Vanessa Redgrave and Stella Schnabel, Miral is based on Rula Jebreal’s book about the real-life Palestinian woman Hind Husseini, who started the Dar Al-Tifl orphanage in Jerusalem in the wake of the 1948 partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Jerusalem, 1948. On her way to work, Husseini comes across 55 orphaned children in the street. She takes them home to give them food and shelter. Within six months, 55 had grown to almost 2000, and the Dar Al-Tifel Institute was born. At the age of 7, Miral was sent to the Institute by her father following her mother’s death. Brought up safely inside the Institute’s walls, she is naïve to the troubles that surround her. Then, at the age of 17, she is assigned to teach at a refugee camp where she is awakened to the reality of her people’s struggle. When she falls for political activist, Hani, she finds herself torn between the fight for the future of her people and Mama Hind’s belief that education is the road to peace.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at IONCINEMA.com (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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