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Sony Pictures Classics acquires Asghar Farhadi's The Past

EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Classics (SPC) has struck a multi-territory deal for Iranian Asghar Farhadi’s Palme d’Or contender The Past with Memento Films International (MFI).

SPC has acquired rights for North America as well as Eastern Europe and CIS for the intense, Paris-set melodrama starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim and Ali Mosaffa.

Lead produced by Alexandre Mallet-Guy of Memento, The Past is Farhadi’s first French-language picture.

SPC also distributed Farhadi’s Oscar-winning, Farsi-language A Separation in the US and was a driving force behind the picture’s Foreign Language Academy Award.

In other deals, MFI has also sold Uruguayan Alvaro Brechner’s comedy Mr. Kaplan about a Jewish retiree who fancies himself a Nazi hunter to Australia (Palace Films) and Israel (Lev Films).

The company has also been drumming up sales on its SXSW pickup Short Term 12 to Australia (Mad Man) and again Israel (Lev Films).

Destin Cretton’s award-winning picture set against the backdrop of foster care facility won the audience award at SXSW this year.

MFI has been racking up sales on The Past throughout the market. Previously announced deals include to sales to Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Frenetic), Israel (Lev Cinemas), Portugal (Alambique), Greece (Seven Group), Turkey (Mars Production), Poland (Kino Swiat), Latin America (California Filmes), Hong Kong (Golden Scene), South Korea (Mirovision), Taiwan (Maison Motion), Australia (Madman), Middle East (Falcon) and Penny Black has picked it up for airlines.

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