From The Worst Person in the World to Great Freedom: MUBI acquires wave of Cannes titles
James R | On 16, Jul 2021
MUBI is out in force at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, snapping up a wave of films for release in the UK.
The streaming service has increasingly stepped up its theatrical distribution plans in recent years, from the remake of Suspiria to, just last month, Shiva Baby. In the past few weeks, it has acquired the UK and Ireland rights to Cannes opener Annette from director Leos Carax and Andrea Arnold’s documentary debut, Cow.
Now, it’s added to that line-up with a string of all rights acquisitions, bringing a sizeable chunk of the Croisette’s entertainment not only to cinema screens but to its streaming library.
Today, it snapped up Tatiana Huezo’s Un Certain Regard selection Prayers for the Stolen, which follows a group of young friends in the Mexican mountains and is based on Jennifer Clement’s 2014 novel.
“The film explores what it means to grow up as a girl in the middle of war in Mexico, where the feminine condition is more exposed to brutality,” Huezo said.
It also came out on top in an auction for the UK and Ireland rights to The Worst Person in the World, the third in Joachim Trier’s Oslo trilogy, after Reprise and Oslo, August 31st. The comedy-drama follows Julie, a young woman navigating a troubled love life and a difficult career path.
Earlier this week, MUBI acquired the UK and Ireland Sebastien Meise’s sophomore feature, Great Freedom, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard selection. The film is set in post-war Germany and tells the story of Hans (Franz Rogowski), who is imprisoned for being homosexual.
Last month, MUBI acquired the UK and Ireland rights to Bergman Island, the latest from Mia Hansen-Løve, which premiered in Competition at Cannes. Starring Tim Roth, Mia Wasikowska and Vicki Krieps, it follows an American filmmaker couple who head to Faro island for the summer, where Ingmar Bergman lived and filmed.
It also went into the festival holding the UK and Ireland rights to another Un Certain Regard title, Valdimar Jóhannsson’s Icelandic drama Lamb. Starring Noomi Rapace and Hilmir Snaer Gudnason, it follows a couple who live on a remote sheep farm but discover a mysterious newborn which they raise as their own.
One MUBI title debuting on the French Riviera is Titane, the latest from Raw director Julia Ducournau, which MUBI describes as “gross-out peppered with stomach-churning moments”. That will be released in the UK by Altitude and Film4.
MUBI is the UK home of Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta, which had its world premiere last week at Cannes, and follows a woman who joins a convent in 17th-century Tuscany.
Not content with that boatload of high-profile titles, MUBI picked up the UK and Ireland rights to Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Lingui, The Sacred Bonds a couple of days ago. The Chadian abortion drama is a top pick for the Palme d’Or this year.
And, just to round things on a global scale, MUBI also picked up the rights for other territories (not the UK and Ireland) for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria.