EXCLUSIVE: PictureWorks takes India and AT Entertainment, Japan ahead of controversial picture’s international premiereat the Locarno Film Festival.

Memento Films International has been racking up sales on Craig Zobel’s provocative thriller Compliance ahead of its international premiere at the Locarno Film Festival this week.

The Paris-based sales outfit has sold the film to several territories including to Japan (AT Entertainment), India (PictureWorks), Turkey (Mars Production), Israel (Lev Films), Greece (Seven Films) and New Zealand (Vendetta).  

Previously announced deals include to Scandinavia (NonStop Entertainment) and France (Pretty Pictures).

The film will make its international premiere in competition in Locarno on August 3. Zobel and co-stars Ann Dowd and Dreama Walker will accompany the picture.

Compliance was one of the most controversial pictures at Sundance earlier this year.

“We’re eager to get the first international audiences feedback in Locarno. Craig has made a brilliant film that is bound to have people talking and perhaps yelling too. We’re confident that the competition slot will bring a great spotlight on the film.” says MFI sales and acquisitions head Tanja Meissner.

Dowd stars as fast food manager Sandra who receives a call from a police officer accusing one of her teenage employees, played by Walker, of stealing from a customer. Sandra detains the girl, setting in motion a nightmarish chain of events.

Zobel took inspiration for the picture from real life events as well as the infamous social psychology Milgram experiments on obedience to authority figures. The film was at the heart of a fierce Q&A following its premiere at Sundance.

Under a deal sealed early on in the film’s career by New York-based Cinetec Media and producers Sophia Lin, Lisa Muskat, Tyler Davidson and Theo Sena, Compliance is due to be released in the US later this summer by Magnolia Pictures, which distributed Zobel’s first film, Great World of Sound. E1 is handing distribution in Canada.

Locarno promises to be a busy festival for MFI sales manager Nicholas Kaiser, who will be attendance.

A second title on MFI’s sales slate, Australian director Cate Shortland’s World War Two drama Lore, revolving around the children of arrested Nazi parents, will screen on the Piazza Grande on August 2.