Sideshow and Janus Films have acquired North American rights to “The Eight Mountains,” a drama by Belgian filmmakers Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch that won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The companies, which teamed up to release last year’s Cannes and Oscar winner “Drive My Car,” plan to release the film in theaters at the end of the year.
Based on Paolo Cognetti’s novel, “The Eight Mountains” was written and directed by van Groeningen and Vandermeersch, whose “The Broken Circle Breakdown” was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film (now Best International Feature Film) in 2013. Van Groeningen co-wrote and directed that film, and Vandermeersh collaborated on the screenplay. It is her first film as director.
The film spans three decades and stars Luca Marinelli and Alessandro Borghi as two men whose childhood encounters turn into a lifelong friendship, largely set in the Italian Alpine village of Aosta. It is van Groeningen’s first film in Italian, a language he and Vandermeersh learned specifically to make the film. His previous movies are in Flemish, Dutch and English (2018’s “Beautiful Boy”).
“We admire Sideshow / Janus Films for their exquisite taste and talent to bring the world’s most special films to a broad audience,” van Groeningen and Vandermeersch said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “We feel we have found the perfect home for our film and know this story will breathe air into the lives of people around the world.”
For their part, the distributors’ statement called “The Eight Mountains” “a sweeping, deeply moving film about friendship filled with heart and featuring tremendous performances by Luca Marinelli and Alessandro Borghi” and added, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch, Mario Giannani and Lorenzo Gangarossa to bring this special film to North America.”
The deal was negotiated by CAA Media Finance and Vision Distribution on behalf of the filmmakers.