Cannes: Sony Pictures Classics Picks Up Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s ‘They Shot the Piano Player’

Sony Pictures Classics announced today they have acquired all rights in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Scandinavia, India, Middle East, Turkey, Southeast Asia (excluding Taiwan and South Korea) and airlines within those territories to Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal’s upcoming Bossa Nova-themed animated film, “They Shot the Piano Player.”

Sony Classics plans to release the film at the end of the year to qualify for year-end awards consideration.

A true international production, the film is produced by Cristina Huete of Trueba PC (“Chico & Rita”) in Spain, along with Serge Lalou for Les Films d’Ici (“Josep”) in France, Janneke van de Kerkhof for Submarine Sublime (“Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles”) in the Netherlands, and Humberto Santana in Portugal. It is executive produced by Nano Arrieta of Atlantika and Fabien Westerhoff of Film Constellation.

From Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, who previously directed the Oscar-nominated “Chico & Rita,” “They Shot the Piano Player” is narrated by Jeff Goldblum. According to the official synopsis, the film follows “a New York music journalist [who] goes on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenorio Jr.” The film also serves as “an origin story of the world-renowned Latino musical movement Bossa Nova, the film captures a fleeting time bursting with creative freedom at a turning point in Latin American history in the ’60s and ’70s, just before the continent was engulfed by totalitarian regimes.”

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The soundtrack is filled with the best of Brazilian music, including tracks by João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes, and Paulo Moura.

“This film has been a 15-year investigation of mine into the life of a musical genius, whose life was unjustly taken by the military coup back in the ’70s. I am delighted to celebrate his legacy with the luminous animation of my accomplice Javier Mariscal. We can’t wait for the world to discover his life and music with our friends at Sony Pictures Classics,” said Trueba in an official statement.

“This movie promises to be one of a kind! A gorgeous animated documentary filled with sublime color and music about a search for the truth about an amazing musician lost in history. It’s great to be back again with Fernando and Cristina with another winner,” added Sony Pictures Classics in the official statement.

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