Cannes: Amazon acquires Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman
James R | On 19, May 2016
Amazon has acquired another title at Cannes: Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman (Forushande).
The film is the latest from the award-winning director, who took home an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film with A Separation. It follows Emad and Rana, who are forced out of their apartment due to dangerous works on a neighboring building. They move into a new flat in the center of Tehran, but an incident linked to the previous tenant will dramatically change the young couple’s life.
The movie is competing for Cannes’ Palme d’Or this week, with Cannes snapping up the US rights before its debut. It marks yet another acquisition for the VOD service, which, under the leadership of indie veterans Ted Hope and Bob Berney (and studio chief Roy Price), is positioning itself as a major player in the art-house scene.
Amazon Studios will partner with Cohen Media on distributing the film in America, as Amazon continues to emphasise theatrical releases for each of its titles, before putting them online for US Prime Video customers to stream. As Deadline notes, Amazon’s deal marks the first film of Farhadi’s last three not to be distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, which handled both A Separation and the director’s follow-up, The Past, starring Tahar Rahim and Berenice Bejo.
Indeed, Woody Allen, also a Sony Pictures Classics regular, has become a frequent Amazon collaborator too – his Cafe Society joins Amazon’s bundle of titles all screening at Cannes, including Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson (read our review here), Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon and Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden (read our review here), and (screening out competition) Jarmusch’s Iggy Pop doc Gimme Danger. In total, The Salesman takes Amazon’s number of titles premiering at Cannes up to six, more than any other studio.
For more on Cannes, including VOD acquisitions, interviews, keynote speeches and reviews of Amazon’s big hitters, click here.