Cannes Winner ‘Sicilian Ghost Story’ Bought by Strand Releasing (EXCLUSIVE)

Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s drama “Sicilian Ghost Story,” Variety has learned exclusively.

“Sicilian Ghost Story” opened the International Critics’ Week at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, marking the first time an Italian film launched the Critics’ Week. Grassadonia and Piazza won the David di Donatello award for top adapted script.

Strand made the announcement on Wednesday, ahead of “Sicilian Ghost Story’s” North American debut as the opening night film at the Open Roads: New Italian Cinema 2018 event on May 31 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City. Strand will release the film in the fall.

The film follows a young girl whose quest and search for her kidnapped friend leads her on a psychic journey to find him. Julia Jedlikowska and Gaetano Fernandez star.

Jay Weissberg wrote in his review for Variety: “‘Ghost Story’ deserves a conspicuous place on international art-house screens.”

The deal was negotiated between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Thania Dimitrakopoulou of The Match Factory.

”It is such a joy for us to learn that our film will be released in North America by Strand Releasing,” the filmmakers said. ”Sicilian Ghost Story’ started its development at the Sundance Institute, where it was awarded with the Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award and continues its journey now in North America in such good hands.”

It’s the third film for Grassadonia and Piazza following “Salvo” in 2013 and “Rita” in 2010.

The film was produced by Indigo Film and Cristaldi Pics with Rai Cinema. It’s a co-production with Mact Productions, JPG Films, Ventura Film, and RSI-Radiotelevisione Svizzera. The film will be released in the U.K. by Altitude and in France by Jour2Fête.

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