Holy Spider

Source: Ali Abbasi/Profile Pictures/One Two Films

‘Holy Spider’

Wild Bunch International has unveiled a raft of sales for Iranian-Danish filmmaker Ali Abbasi’s hard-hitting, Iran-set serial killer drama Holy Spider following its buzzy world premiere in Competition in Cannes last weekend.

For Europe, it has sold to France (Metropolitan Filmexport), Switzerland (Xenix), Benelux (Cinéart), Germany (Alamode), Spain (BTeam Pictures/Karma Films), Greece (Cinobo), Italy (Academy Two), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo), ex-Yugoslavia (Fivia), Hungary (Vertigo Media), Czech Republic (Film Europe), Romania (Independenta Film), Poland (Gutek) and the Baltics (A-One Films).

In Asia, it has been acquired for Japan (Gaga), South Korea (Pancinema), Taiwan (Proview Entertainment), Hong Kong (Edko) and Indonesia (Falcon).

In further territories, it has sold to Israel (United King), Turkey (Bir Film), pan-North Africa (Ciné 7ème Art) and Mexico (Canibal). China is in advanced negotiation.

On Friday (May 27), Mubi had acquired rights for UK-Ireland, Latin America (excluding Mexico) and Malaysia.

Earlier on in the market, North American rights were snapped up by growing New York-based sales and distribution company Utopia, which is planning a release by the end of this year.

The intense drama revolves around a female journalist based in the Iranian capital of Tehran who travels to the country’s holy city of Mashhad to investigate a spate of gruesome murders targeting sex workers by a religious maniac who believes he is cleaning the streets.

It is based on the true infamous case of the ‘spider killings’ which took place while Abbasi was living in the country in the early 2000s. 

The film is Abbasi’s third feature after Border which won Un Certain Regard in 2018 and was then nominated for an Oscar.

It is lead produced by Jacob Jarek of Denmark’s Profile Pictures and Sol Bondy of Germany’s One Two Films, in co-production with Nordisk Film Production, Wild Bunch International, Film i Väst, Why Not Productions, ZDF/ARTE and ARTE France Cinéma.

Camera Film will release the film in Denmark this autumn.