Los Angeles-based Essential Entertainment will handle international sales on the drama Barney’s Version ahead of its world premiere in Venice.

The film is based on Mordecai Richler’s prize-winning novel and stars Paul Giamatti as a seemingly ordinary man whose candid confessional spans four decades, two continents, three wives, one outrageous father and an irreverent best friend.

Robert Lantos produced through his Serendipity Point label along with Fandango’s Domenico Procacci. Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike, Scott Speedman, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre and Bruce Greenwood round out the key cast. Richard J Lewis directed.

The producers are in talks with US distributors and Entertainment One holds Canadian rights. Barney’s Version will receive its North American premiere at Toronto.

“It is a pleasure to work with Robert Lantos and Serendipity Point Films again,” Essential Entertainment’s president of worldwide distribution John Fremes said. “Barney’s Versionis a very funny, touching, commercial film. With its all-star cast, it is sure to be a festival favourite this fall.”