‘Valeria Is Getting Married’ Sells to Italy, Greece Following Venice World Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)

Berlin-based sales outfit M-Appeal has closed distribution deals for Italy and Greece following the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

The Israeli-Ukrainian co-production plays in Venice’s Horizons Extra section, and will have its North American premiere on Sept. 14 at Toronto Film Festival in the Contemporary World Cinema section.

Rome-based P.F.A Films Srl will distribute the film in Italy, with a theatrical release planned for April 2023. The company’s recent titles include “Fabian – Going to the Dogs” by Dominik Graf, “The Audition” by Ina Weisse, and “Border” by Abbasi Ali.

Pier Francesco Aiello, CEO of P.F.A Films, commented: “We were really impressed by the understated yet powerful telling of this complex story, that keeps you emotionally involved from the very first frame.”

Arthouse cinema distributor and streaming service Cinobo will handle distribution of the film in Greece, adding the film to their slate, which includes “Alcarras” by Carla Simón, “Decision to Leave” by Park Chan-wook, and “Boy From Heaven” by Tarik Saleh. The theatrical release will take place in the spring or early summer of 2023.

Tasos Melemenidis, Cinobo’s head of curation and acquisitions, commented: “’Valeria Is Getting Married’ is a highly engaging story, with really powerful performances and a masterful direction by Michal Vinik, who brings a cinematic eye in this closed-room drama.”

Led by actresses Dasha Tvoronovich and Lena Fraifeld, the film focuses on the perspectives of two Ukrainian sisters, and the tense emotional journey that unfolds over the course of one day. Valeria arrives in Israel to meet the man she is supposed to marry, thanks to a deal made online. She is following in the footsteps of her older sister Christina, who is happy with her new life in Israel, but Valeria struggles with the decision.

Both lead actresses are Ukrainian. Dasha Tvoronovich lives in Kyiv, while Lena Fraifeld was born in Ukraine and now lives in Israel.

M-Appeal said: “Questions about love, power and the weight of the human condition come through the social realism and nuanced conversations of the film, which is sure to provoke interesting debate. The subtle humor and complex relatability portrayed by both the male and female characters is expected to resonate strongly with audiences.”

Michal Vinik is part of a new movement of Israeli female auteurs. “Valeria Is Getting Married” is her second feature film following the lesbian coming-of-age drama “Barash” (2015), which was also sold by M-Appeal and distributed in 26 territories.

Haifa Film Festival will present the Israeli premiere of the film in October. The film has received 14 nominations for Israel’s Ophir Awards, including best Israeli feature film, best director, best actress, best actor, and best screenplay. The film that wins the Ophir Best Film award will be the Israeli representative for the Academy Awards.

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