The winner of several awards in Venice (Cinema Avvenire, Pasinetti Award and the Sergio Trasatti Award for Best Film) and a festival favorite (Venice, Toronto and London), "THE KEYS TO THE HOUSE" is a compassionate and rigorous exploration of fatherhood and the often surprising nature of disability.
"Gianni Amelio lives up to his reputation as one of Italy's best filmmakers with this beautifully realized relationship drama," said Ortenberg. "We are big supporters of foreign language film, and this is exactly the kind of international regional filmmaking we are passionate about bringing to audiences across the country," he added.
The deal was negotiated for Lions Gate by Jason Constantine, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, Wayne Levin, EVP, Business and Legal Affairs and Ortenberg.
"Gianni Amelio is one of the most important filmmakers of our time, and we couldn't be happier that his film will be introduced to American audiences with Lions Gate Films' distribution expertise and support," said Rosenberg.
Rai Cinema, Achab Film and Lakeshore are producing with Lakeshore International handling foreign distribution. This is the second co-production between Lakeshore and RAI, the first being Ermanno Olmi's "SINGING BEHIND SCREENS" ("Cantando Dietro I Paraventi"). Lakeshore is also co-producing with RAI Cinema Gianni Amelio's next film "THE MISSING STAR," with shooting to begin this spring in China.
Starring Charlotte Rampling, Kim Rossi Stuart and introducing Andrea Rossi in the leading role of young "Paolo," "THE KEYS TO THE HOUSE" is the touching story of a young father forging a relationship with his handicapped son whom he meets for the first time as a teenager. Inspired by Giuseppe Pontiggia's novel Born Twice, "THE KEYS TO THE HOUSE" is Amelio's fourth film to be selected as Italy's Oscar candidate. Previous selections were 1994's "LAMERICA" (1994 Venice Film Festival Pasinetti Award; EFA Award for Best Film), "STOLEN CHILDREN" (Il Ladro di Bambini), 1992's Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize of the Jury and Prize of the Ecumenical Jury winner; and 1989's "OPEN DOORS" (Porte Aperte), the recipient of an Academy Award nomination and winner of 1990's EFA Award for Best Film.
Next appearing on screens in Dominik Moll's "LEMMING," Rampling's previous credits include "THE STATEMENT," "SWIMMING POOL" and "UNDER THE SAND." Nominated for a Cesar Award and winner of the European Film Awards (Best Actress category) for the last two films, Rampling received the 2001 Cinemalia International Film Festival Award for Career Achievement. Other credits include "ON NE MEURT QUE 2 FOIS" (Cesar Award nominee) and "MASCARA" (1988 International Fantasy Film Award, Best Actress Category).
One of Italy's most popular actors, Rossi Stuart was the winner of a Pasinetti Award (Best Actor) at this year's Venice Film Festival for his role in "THE KEYS TO THE HOUSE." Currently filming Michele Placido's "CRIME NOVEL" (Romanzo Criminale), previous credits include "PINOCCHIO" (David Di Donatello Awards Nomination, best supporting actor category), "BEYOND THE CLOUDS" and "THE NAME OF THE ROSE."
Lakeshore Entertainment's upcoming slate includes the Clint Eastwood directed "MILLION DOLLAR BABY" starring Eastwood, Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman set for release this December by Warner Bros; the action/horror film "THE CAVE" to be released by Screen Gems, March 2005.
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