Berlin-based sales agent M-Appeal has struck a deal with W-FILM in Germany for the distribution rights for Venice Film Festival title “Valeria Is Getting Married,” while HBO Europe has taken the film in 15 Central and Eastern European countries, including Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.
“Valeria Is Getting Married” is an Israeli-Ukrainian co-production and the second feature film by Israeli female director Michal Vinik. The film follows the emotional journey of two Ukrainian sisters over the course of one day. The younger sister, Valeria, has arrived in Israel to join her sister Christina and to meet the man she has agreed to marry in an arrangement made online. As the day goes on, the imbalances and interpersonal negotiations of the different characters’ relationships are revealed, and Valeria struggles with her decision.
W-FILM will release the film in cinemas across Germany in the second half of 2023. Managing director Stephan Winkler said of the film: “‘Valeria Is Getting Married’ is an exceptional chamber piece with largely unknown actors and actresses who deliver memorable, brilliant performances. What other films sometimes deal with in a running time of more than two hours, Vilnik condenses into just under 80 highly intensive minutes and provides sharp observations about the structural oppression of women and their solidarity with one another.”
The film has been having a strong festival run since its world premiere in Venice’s Horizons Extra and North American premiere in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema sidebar, followed by Zurich. It received the Special Jury Award in the International Feature Film Competition at Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Best Israeli Feature Award and Best Screenplay at Haifa, and the Silver Alexander Meet the Neighbors Award at Thessaloniki, as well as being selected for Tallinn Black Nights and Leiden festivals among others.
The film will have its U.S. premiere at Santa Barbara Film Festival this month, followed by the Miami Film Festival, with more international festivals to be announced soon.
“Valeria Is Getting Married” is produced by Lama Films (Israel), and co-produced by ForeFilms (Ukraine). It will be theatrically released in Israel on March 19, with United King handling the distribution. The film was previously also sold to Italy, where PFA Films plans to release the film in cinemas in April-May. More from Variety Best of Variety
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