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Music Box Films nabs Cannes Directors’ Fortnight title and Swedish Oscar hopeful ‘And Then We Danced’


Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. and Canadian rights to And Then We Danced  from Swedish filmmaker Levan Akin (Certain People, The Circle) and starring the captivating Levan Gelbakhiani.  The film saw its world premiere at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival (Directors’ Fortnight), and won the Grand Prix, Best Film, and Best Actor awards at the 2019 Odesa International Film Festival. On August 7th, Sweden announced that And Then We Danced  had also been placed on the shortlist as a potential 2020 Oscar submission from Sweden in the Best International Film category. Music Box Films, whose previous Swedish release A Man Called Ove was nominated for an Academy Award in 2017, plans a theatrical rollout in 2020 followed by a release on home entertainment platforms. 

Cannes Review: ‘And Then We Danced’ is a brave, urgent and revolutionary statement

The strict and gender conservative scene of ancient Georgian dance is the setting for the story about obsessive young dancer Merab (Gelbakhiani), who has been training at the National Georgian Ensemble with his partner, Mary (Ana Javakishvili), since he was a child. However, when new dancer Irakli (Bachi Valishvili) arrives what begins as a rivalry soon turns to longing as the two draw closer together. 

“With this film I find myself really going back to my roots as a filmmaker, working in an organic way, where the real lives of the people in the film and what’s going on in Georgia now affects the story. It is ever evolving. Telling the story of young LGBT+ people and their struggles on a smaller scale but also showing the history and situation of Georgia today on a larger scale. This film will not only be a very interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free.”

Director Levan Akin

“In Levan Akin’s And Then We Danced , you are immediately immersed in the vibrant landscape of contemporary Georgian society,” said Music Box Films’ President William Schopf. “The exquisite choreography and breakout performances by a Georgian cast of non-actors create a kinetic and compelling love story that will really resonate with audiences.” 

“Working with Music Box on And Then We Danced was a perfect match. They have great taste and will perfectly deal with the various angles of the film,” said Agathe Valentin of Totem Films.

Music Box Films acquired all film rights in the United States and Canada; the deal was negotiated by Music Box Films’ President William Schopf and Totem Films’ Agathe Valentin.

Erik Anderson

Erik is the founder/owner and Editor-In-Chief of AwardsWatch and thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. He is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, a member of the International Cinephile Society (ICS) and The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (GALECA) and calls the Bay Area his home.

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