Hollywood agency ICM Partners has come on board Rohena Gera’s festival favorite “Sir” and will represent it for sales in Anglophone markets U.S., U.K. and Australia, among other territories. The Hollywood agency will also serve as the film’s awards season lobbyist.
A delicately observed study of class differences in Indian society, “Sir” stars Tillotama Shome (“Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost,” “Monsoon Wedding,”) as a domestic live-in help with Vivek Gomber (“A Suitable Boy,” “Court”), a man from a wealthy family who seems to have it all, but is somewhat lost. As their worlds collide and the two individuals connect, the barriers between them seem only more insurmountable.
The cast also includes Divya Seth Shah, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Bhagyashree Pandit, Anupriya Goenka and Bachan Pachera.
“We have a very intimate yet hierarchical relationship with the people who work in our homes,” Gera said. “I wanted to explore that without being preachy, and a love story allowed me to do that. To push boundaries, but through love and desire not by telling people what to think.”
“Sir” debuted at Cannes Critics Week in 2018, where it won the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution prize. Since then it has travelled to 45 film festivals around the world, picking up several awards on the way. MK2 Films licensed it to several territories and the film has had a theatrical release through Diaphana in France, where it is among the top five Indian films in terms of tickets sold, alongside “The Lunchbox” and “Salaam Bombay.”
Over 2019 and 2020, the film also released in Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Hong Kong, Norway, Japan, Sweden, Italy, Tunisia, Brazil, Israel, Denmark, Taiwan, Canada, Hungary, Belgium, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Greece.
The film was due to release in India in March, until the spread of the coronavirus pandemic scuppered those plans. With cinemas now reopening, Shiladitya Bora’s boutique distribution outfit Platoon One Films will now release the film across India from Nov. 13.
“Sir” has been submitted to the Film Federation of India, to be considered as the country’s entry in the 2021 Oscars’ international category. The Federation has not yet announced its selection.
“We believe in the potential of the film as the subject matter is contemporary and relevant, and takes on a social issue, like the Oscar-winning film ‘The Help,’ through a positive story, like ‘Life is Beautiful,’ and ‘Green Book,’ ” Bora said.
“Sir” is a co-production between India’s Inkpot Films and France’s Ciné-Sud Promotion. It is produced by Brice Poisson and Rohena Gera, co-produced by Thierry Lenouvel and executive produced by Rakesh Mehra. It also received the support of the Cinémas du Monde fund of France’s National Cinema Center for post-production.