Sideshow and Janus Films announced today that they have acquired North American rights for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO, a vision of modern Europe as seen through the eyes of a donkey, which has been one of the most discussed films of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered In Competition and won the Jury Prize. EO is presented by Skopia Film and Jeremy Thomas and stars Sandra Drzymalska, Lorenzo Zurzolo, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz and Isabelle Huppert. It was produced by Ewa Piaskowska and Jerzy Skolimowski. Eileen Tasca is the Italian Co-Producer. Jeremy Thomas is the executive producer. The screenplay was written by Ewa Piaskowska and Jerzy Skolimowski. Michał Dymek contributed the stunning cinematography. Thomas and Skolimowski have been working together since 1978 when their film “The Shout” won the Grand Prix at Cannes. Sideshow and Janus Films are planning a fall 2022 theatrical release.
In addition to North America and the previously announced deal with ARP for France, HanWay Films has closed deals with BFI Distribution (UK & Ireland), A Contracorriente (Spain), Nitrato Filmes (Portugal), The Searchers (Benelux), I Wonder (Italy), Odeon (Greece), Bir (Turkey), Front Row (Middle East), DDDREAM (China), Fine Films (Japan), Applause (Taiwan) and Pictureworks (India).
Synopsis: The world is a mysterious place when seen through the eyes of an animal. EO, a gray donkey with melancholic eyes, meets good and bad people on his life’s path, experiences joy and pain, endures the wheel of fortune as it randomly turns his luck into disaster and his despair into unexpected bliss. But not even for a moment does he lose his innocence.
The acquisition represents Sideshow and Janus Films’ first collaboration since Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, which won the Academy Award for Best International Feature, and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was the first Japanese film ever nominated for Best Picture and grossed over $2.3 million in North America, while sweeping critics awards for Best International Feature nationwide. It also won the Gotham Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit Award for Best International Feature.
Sideshow and Janus Films said: “We are proud to bring EO to North American audiences. This epic journey, seen through a donkey’s eyes, will give hope to audiences during our troubling times, and reflects not only Jerzy Skolimowski’s love of animals, but of the world. We are looking forward to showing this film — designed to be watched in a crowded theater — to the biggest audience possible this fall.”
Jeremy Thomas commented: “Jerzy Skolimowski, Ewa Piaskowska and I are excited to work with a forward-thinking distribution group who absolutely love EO. We’re delighted to be working with Sideshow and Janus Films after such wonderful recognition at Cannes of Jerzy and his enchanting donkeys.”
The deal was negotiated by Hanway on behalf of the filmmakers with Janus Films and Sideshow.