IFC Films has swooped on US rights to Gomorrah, Matteo Garrone's Cannes Grand Jury Prize winning Italian Mafia tale that drew wide acclaim following its competition screening.
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This is IFC's fifth acquisition of Cannes 2008 entry following last week's deal for Steve McQueen's Un Certain Regard entry Hunger, Na Hong-Jin's midnight official selection The Chaser, Josh Safdie's Director's Fortnight closer The Pleasure Of Being Robbed, and the pre-festival buy of Arnaud Desplechin's competition entry A Christmas Tale.
Gomorrah has already grossed more than $7.5m in two weeks at the Italian box office through through 01 Distribuzione and is based on Robert Saviano's international bestseller.
The story weaves together five stories of individuals from the province of Naples and Caserta whose lives are overshadowed by the Camorra code of organised crime.
Matteo's film won plaudits for its gritty realism and few can doubt the authenticity of the source material given that Savione himself faced death threats and has been in hiding ever since his book was published.
IFC Films will release though its day-and-date theatrical and VOD platform IFC In Theatres as well as through the company's exclusive deal with Blockbuster Video.
'Just when we thought we had seen it all, Matteo Garrone has reinvented the Italian Mafia picture with such originality and invention that it seems entirely new,' IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring said.
'We think that this completely fresh take on a well known genre that includes The Godfather trilogy, The Sopranos and Goodfellas will take American audiences by storm as it did in Cannes. We look forward to getting it out to the widest possible audience.'
IFC's vice president of acquisitions and production Arianna Bocco negotiated the deal with Janine Gold, head of Fandango Portobello Sales, and Steve Saltzman of Loeb and Loeb.