Focus Features has acquired “Everybody Knows,” the opening night film of the Cannes Film Festival starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, for US and key international distribution, the company announced.
Directed by Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, The film follows Laura (Cruz) on her travels from Argentina to her small home town in Spain for her sister’s wedding, bringing her two children along for the occasion. Amid the joyful reunion and festivities, the eldest daughter is abducted. In the tense days that follow, various family and community tensions surface and deeply hidden secrets are revealed.
“Asghar is a world-class filmmaker whose work transcends language,” said Focus chairman Peter Kujawski. “Matching his talents with these emotionally charged performances from Penelope, Javier and Ricardo will leave audiences captivated.”
Focus acquired the rights to distribute in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, select Asian territories and the Middle East, apart from Iran. The film received strong reviews after its premiere screening.
Cruz told TheWrap that the film was one of the most painful for her to experience as an actress.
“All of my scenes were very intense,” Cruz told TheWrap in a magazine cover story. “In one scene I have a panic attack in the car, and I ended up in an ambulance myself. It was just from hyperventilation and from my blood sugar going very high from the stress of the scene. I remember getting out of the ambulance, and Asghar made sure I was OK.”
She paused. “And then he asked me for one more take.”
UTA Indie Film Group and Memento Films International negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmaking team. Farhadi is represented by UTA.