UK sales outfit Protagonist Pictures has picked up international rights to the Maggie Gyllenhaal-starring The Kindergarten Teacher following the film’s buzzy Sundance premiere.
Gyllenhaal plays a kindergarten teacher who becomes obsessed with a five-year-old child in her class who she considers to be gifted, which spirals her onto a desperate path to nurture his talent. Gael García Bernal also stars in the feature, which is a remake of Nadav Lapid’s acclaimed 2014 Israeli film of the same name.
Writer-director Sara Colangelo scooped Sundance’s best director prize following the film’s debut in the festival’s US Dramatic programme.
Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman Keren produced through Pie Films with Trudie Styler and Celine Rattray under their Maven Films banner, alongside Gyllenhaal.
WME is handling US rights and a domestic deal is understood to be imminent.
Protagonist CEO Dave Bishop stated: “With some of best reviews coming out of Sundance, and as the winner of one of the top prizes, The Kindergarten Teacher was a film we absolutely wanted to represent. It’s a prime piece for audiences looking for complex, dangerous and rich storytelling and we are delighted to be bringing Sara and Maggie’s undeniable talents to the market and to help deliver this award-winning film to audiences.”
The Kindergarten Teacher joins an EFM slate for Protagonist that already boasts Vita & Virginia starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki, Kristoffer Nyholm’s Keepers, Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, which will be distributed in the US by Amazon Studios, and Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir which has Martin Scorsese as executive producer.