Studio Soho Distribution has acquired UK and Ireland rights to Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s drama The Man Who Sold His Skin, which is up for the best international feature at the Oscars this weekend.
The drama, sold by Paris-based Bac Films, premiered in Venice’s Horizons strand last September, where it won Yahya Mahayni best actor and the film the Edipo Re Award. Studio Soho is planning to release the feature theatrically in August.
Inspired by true events, it follows a young Syrian refugee in Lebanon who allows his back to become a canvas for a famous tattoo artist, in exchange for safe passage to Europe. But when collectors become interested in this work of art, his hopes for freedom face jeopardy. Other cast members include Monica Bellucci as the artist’s hard-nosed fixer and assistant.
It marks the second fiction feature from Tunisian filmmaker Ben Hania after Beauty And The Dogs, about a rape victim seeking justice, which premiered in Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2017.
The burgeoning UK distributor is also lining up several other international titles as cinemas prepare to begin reopening from May 17.
These include US drama The Surrogate by writer/director Jeremy Hersh, acquired from Visit Films and set for release in July; and Israeli drama Here We Are by Nir Bergman, in a deal with MK2 Films, which received a Cannes 2020 label and is also slated for a July release.
In August, Studio Soho plan to release Mark Lamprell’s Australian comedy-drama Never Too Late, acquired from Myriad Pictures. The film, starring James Cromwell and Jacki Weaver, centres on a group of senior citizens who plan a break-out from their retirement home.
Later this year, the distributor plans to release Emmanuel Courcol’s French comedy The Big Hit, following a deal with MK2 Films. The film, about an out of work actor who runs a theatre workshop in a prison, won best comedy at last year’s European Film Awards.
Studio Soho has also acquired crime drama Akilla’s Escape from Wide Management and is lining up a November release date. The film, about an urban child-soldier, is directed by Jamaican-Canadian filmmaker and actor Charles Officer and was selected for Toronto 2020.
During last month’s virtual European Film Market, the distributor acquired Ronnie Sandahl’s Swedish footballer drama Tigers from Wild Bunch International and has set a theatrical release for October. Also secured out of the EFM was Bastian Günther’s drama One Of These Days from The Match Factory.