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Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Fernando Trueba’s Animated ‘They Shot the Piano Player’


Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American rights to the animated film They shot the pianist from Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, the duo behind the Oscar nominee Chico & Rita. The plan is for an awards season release.

The company also acquired the rights to the film in Latin America, Scandinavia, India, the Middle East, Turkey, Southeast Asia (excluding Taiwan and South Korea) and for airlines in those areas.

Narrated by Jeff Goldblum, the Bossa Nova-themed animation follows a New York music journalist as he searches for the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenorio Jr. Origin story of the world famous Latino musical movement Bossa Nova, the film captures a fleeting time of creative freedom at a turning point in Latin American history in the 1960s and 1970s, just before the continent was overrun by totalitarian regimes.

The film features Brazilian musicians João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes and Paulo Moura.

Cristina Huete of Trueba PC in Spain produced the film, together with Serge Lalou for Les Films d’Ici in France, Janneke van de Kerkhof for Submarine Sublime in the Netherlands and Humberto Santana in Portugal. It is executive produced by Atlantika’s Nano Arrieta and Film Constellation’s Fabien Westerhoff.

“This film has been a 15-year investigation of mine into the life of a musical genius, whose life was wrongly taken by the military coup in the 1970s. I am delighted to celebrate his legacy with my accomplice’s luminous animation Javier Mariscal. We can’t wait for the world to discover his life and music with our friends at Sony Pictures Classics,” said Trueba.

The deal was brokered with Westerhoff on behalf of the filmmakers. The London and Paris-based financial, production and sales company Film Constellation handles global sales and co-finances the film. Film Constellation will sell the remaining territories at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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