Sideshow and Janus Films have picked up US rights to Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Cannes Film Festival competition entry About Dry Grassessecuring the Turkish drama from sales group Playtime.
The film stars Deniz Celiloglu as a young art teacher, sent to a remote village in Anatolia for his final year of compulsory national service, who is overcome with angst and a sense of hopelessness about the future. An encounter with Nuray, another teacher, played by Merve Dizdar, offers the possibility of an escape. Dizdar won best actress honor in Cannes this year for her performance.
Sideshow and Janus Films plan to tour About Dry Grasses through the fall film festivals before releasing the movie in theaters stateside. The distributors took a similar approach with their joint 2021 Cannes acquisition, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, another slow-burning drama, eventually landing four Oscar nominations, and one win — for best international feature. Janus also scored an Oscar nomination with last year’s Cannes pick-up, EO from Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski.
Produced by Ceylan’s NBC Film together with France’s Memento Production and Komplizen Film Production in Germany, About Dry Grasses was co-written by Akin Aksu, Ebru Ceylan and Nuri Bilge Ceylan and co-stars Musab Ekici and Eve Bagci.
“This is truly grand cinema in every way. Nuri Bilge Ceylan has made a thrilling, playful, visually stunning film that tries to make sense of the world we live in now,” Sideshow and Janus Films said in a statement. “We are honored to work with him for the first time and are so excited that Merve Dizdar was recognized for her phenomenal performance by the Jury. We look forward to introducing her, Denis Celiloglu, Musab Ekici, the rest of the stellar cast, and Ceylan’s rapturous vision to theaters across the US.”
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