Drafthouse Films and Films We Like have jointly acquired North American rights to Ari Folman's sci-fi epic "The Congress," which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last month as part of the Directors Fortnight section.
The companies are planning a theatrical and VOD/digital release in the U.S. in 2014, while Toronto-based Films We Like will handle Canadian distribution.
Based on legendary science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem's 1971 novel "The Futurological Congress," Folman's adaptation blends live-action and psychedelic animation as an aging, out-of-work actress named Robin Wright accepts her final job — preserving her digital image for a future Hollywood. 20 years later, Wright's digital double rises to immortal stardom and is invited to take part in "The Congress" as she makes her comeback straight into the world of future fantasy cinema.
"I am extremely excited by the idea that an innovative and passionate company such as Drafthouse Films will be the American distributor for 'The Congress,'" said Folman, who previously directed "Waltz With Bashir." "Their immediate reaction towards the film felt like love at first sight. I am absolutely confident they will take the film to all those places it is meant to go."
"'The Congress' cements Ari Folman's position as one of the most innovative and provocative filmmakers working today," added Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League. "It will be a joy to share his creative vision with American audiences."
"We are ecstatic to release 'The Congress' in tandem with Drafthouse Films. It is a remarkable visionary film and we are honored to present it to audiences in Canada," said Ron Mann of Films We Like.
"We are delighted for our first collaboration with Drafthouse Films, to partner again with Films We Like, and are convinced that 'The Congress' is in the best hands," said Michael Weber, managing director of The Match Factory. "They share our enthusiasm for this unique director's new film and will do a great job making it visible to the widest possible audience."
The deal was negotiated by League and James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and The Match Factory's Brigitte Suárez and Weber on behalf of the film's producers.