Paris-based sales company Charades has unveiled a slew of sales for Russian theatre and film director Kirill Serebrennikov’s drama Leto, set against the backdrop of the early 1980s Leningrad rock scene, following its premiere in competition in Cannes.
The film has sold well worldwide including to Germany (Weltkino), Spain (Avalon), Italy (I Wonder Pictures), Japan (Kino Films), Korea ( Atnine), Canada (MK2/Mile End), Benelux (Imagine), Poland (Gutek), Brazil (Imovision), Colombia (Cine Colombia), Turkey (Fabula), Sweden (Triart), Finland (Cinemanse), Hungary (Mozinet), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Aerofilms), Romania (Transylvania), Baltics (Must Kasi), Portugal (Films4you), Taiwan (Mirror Stage), China (Lemon Tree) and Switzerland (Xenix).
Walt Disney Studios Sony Pictures has acquired the rights for Russia and CIS, excluding Ukraine, while Bac Films will distribute the film in France in association with Paris-based production company Kinovista which produced the film.
Set against the early 1980s rock scene in Leningrad in the dying days of the Brezhnev era and the Soviet Union, the film revolves around the real-life love triangle between late rock singers Victor Tsoi and Mike Naumenko and his wife Natalia, on whose memoirs the film is based.
It was Serebrennikov’s first time in competition in Cannes after premiering his last film The Student in Un Certain Regard in 2016.
Serebrennikov, who has been under house arrest on disputed corruption charges since last August, was unable to attend the premiere in Cannes. The film’s co-stars Teo Yoo, Irina Starshenbaum and Roma Zver marked his absence by carrying a large banner bearing his name into the screening.
The film was seen as a strong Palme d’Or contender but ultimately went home empty-handed.
“As well as being one of the most talked-about films for its absence from the Palmares, Leto was also one of the most talked-about films of the selection throughout the festival,” said Charades co-chiefs Carole Baraton, Yohann Comte and Pierre Mazars in a joint statement.
“We’re happy the romance and sober poetry of the film touched so many countries and found home with passionate distributors.”
Other buzzy Cannes titles on the Charades Cannes slate this year included Critics’ Week winner Diamantino and Japanese animation Mirai which premiered in Directors’ Fortnight.