Metrograph Pictures Nabs Sandhya Suri’s Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Highlight ‘Santosh’ For North America (EXCLUSIVE)

Metrograph Pictures has acquired North American rights to Sandhya Suri’s Cannes standout “Santosh” following its world premiere in Un Certain Regard.

Metrograph Pictures will distribute the film theatrically, with additional release details to be announced at a later date. MK2 Films represents the movie in international markets.

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“Santosh” marks the narrative feature debut of Suri, whose breakout documentary “I For India” competed at Sundance. Her short film “The Field” was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Short Film in 2019, and won Best International Short at Toronto in 2018.

“Santosh” received solid reviews following its Cannes premiere, with Variety called it a “whip-smart film” that “speaks the language of a fiercely feminist empowerment saga”.

The film follows Santosh (Shahana Goswami), a recent widow who, under a government scheme, inherits her husband’s job as a police constable in the rural badlands of Northern India. When a low-caste girl is murdered, she is pulled into the investigation under the wing of charismatic feminist inspector Sharma (Sunita Rajwar).

“’Santosh’ is a brilliant film, a deeply layered, sharply modern look at gender, class, race, and morality all woven into the suspense and mystery of a procedural thriller,’ said David Laub, head of Metrograph Pictures. The executive described Suri as “a major new filmmaking voice, who tells a riveting story set in contemporary India but which resonates much more broadly for its complexity, intelligence, and insightfulness. “

Mk2 negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. “Santosh” was backed by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funding, and BBC Film in co-production with ZDF/ARTE, in association with Haut et Court Distribution and with the support of Aide aux Cinémas du monde – CNC – Institut Français. Production companies are Good Chaos in association with Suitable Pictures in India and in co-production with Razor Film in Germany and Haut et Court in France.

Three BFI-funded films world premiering at Cannes this year include Andrea Arnold’s “Bird,” Karan Kandhari’s “Sister Midnight.” Other upcoming BFI supported films include “Kneecap,” which won the Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT strand, among others.

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