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Strand closes deal on Akin’s Cannes picture

Make it three in a row for Strand Releasing and Fatih Akin. The NYC-based indie/doc/foreign film distributor have picked up the Cannes selected/Germany's entry at the Oscars this year. The deal follows the comp's distribution deals of 2005 award-winner Head-On and the 2006 documentary film Crossing the Bridge: the Sound of Istanbul. While I managed to miss The Edge of Heaven at Cannes this year, word is that Akin is very much deserving of the screenplay award that was given to him by the Cannes jury.

With a very good reception in Germany, the drama should be a tentpole release for the 08 calender year for the little in size distributor. Much like Head-On, the drama unfolds in Germany and Turkey and looks at the fragile lives of six people connect on emotional voyages toward forgiveness and reconciliation in Germany and Turkey … Nejat (Baki DAVRAK) seems disapproving about his widower father Ali's (Tuncel KURTIZ) choice of prostitute Yeter (Nursel KSE) for a live-in girlfriend. But he grows fond of her when he discovers she sends money home to Turkey for her daughter's university studies. Yeter's sudden death distances father and son. Nejat travels to Istanbul to search for Yeter's daughter Ayten (Nurgl YESILCAY). Political activist Ayten has fled the Turkish police and is already in Germany. She is befriended by a young woman, Lotte (Patrycia ZIOLKOWSKA), who invites rebellious Ayten to stay in her home, a gesture not particularly pleasing to her conservative mother Susanne (Hanna SCHYGULLA). When Ayten is arrested and her asylum plea is denied, she is deported and imprisoned in Turkey. Lotte travels to Turkey, where she gets caught up in the seemingly hopeless situation of freeing Ayten.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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