Curzon Artificial Eye acquires Venice Grand Jury Prize winner.

Animated feature Anomalisa, from acclaimed writer/director Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and stop-motion animator Duke Johnson, has been acquired by Curzon Artificial Eye for distribution in the UK and Eire. 

The film has generated strong buzz out of Venice, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, and Toronto. Screen’s review of the film called it “a wistful, resonant film, a bracing, wry, honest dose of cinematic melancholy”.

Originally a theatre production devised by Kaufman the film was developed by animation production company Sunburn Studios with finance raised through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. 

Anomalisa is a fable about motivational speaker seeking to transcend his monotonous existence and voiced by David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan.

The deal was negotiated with Hanway Films.

Louisa Dent, MD of Curzon Artificial Eye, said the film was “a rare and unique cinematic experience”.

“When we saw it for the first time in Venice we were astounded by its intelligence, humor and artistry,” said Dent.

“Those that supported its production will be delighted. It’s a project that has been long in gestation and the incredible work of everyone involved has paid-off magnificently. We are delighted to be joining the film’s journey.”

US studio Paramount is understood to have paid more than $5m for worldwide rights to the film, which received its world premiere at Telluride.