Sony Pictures Classics has acquired U.S. rights to the upcoming animated feature They Shot The Piano Player from Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, two of the directors from the Oscar-nominated Chico & Rita (2010).
The deal was negotiated with the film’s sales agent Film Constellation and included rights to other key territories including Canada, Latin America, Scandinavia, India, the Middle East, Turkey, and Southeast Asia except for Taiwan and South Korea.
They Shot the Piano Player tells the story of a New York music journalist who sets out to find the truth behind the tragic disappearance of young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenorio Jr.
Seen during an Annecy work-in-progress session last year, the film is pitched as a celebration of the Latin music movement bossa nova and proposes a snapshot of a fleeting period of creative freedom at a turning point in the region’s history – the 1960s and ’70s – just before the continent was overrun by totalitarian regimes.
Jeff Goldblum narrates the film which features Brazilian musicians João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes, and Paulo Moura.
Using a digital 2d technique, the film will deliver scenes in a range of styles and palettes depending on the narrative tone. For interviews, the art will be clean and colored with everyday hues, while the Rio de Janeiro-set bossa nova scenes will feature more explosive colors.
The film is produced by Cristina Huete at Spain’s Trueba PC, Serge Lalou at France’s Les Films d’Ici (Josep), Janneke van de Kerkhof at Dutch company Submarine, and Portugal’s Humberto Santana. Executive producers are Nano Arrieta of Atlantika and Fabien Westerhoff of London’s Film Constellation, which financed the film and will be selling it to the rest of the world at this year’s Cannes market.