The Weinsteins pick up The Sapphires

The Weinstein Company has purchased U.S. distribution rights for Wayne Blair’s Aussie musical The Sapphires.

According to Variety, the sale occurred at Cannes one day before the festival’s opening, and ahead of the film’s May 19 debut on the Croisette. It is playing out of competition.

Based on a true story, the pic stars Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, and Miranda Tapsell as members of an Aboriginal pop group who entertained the troops in Vietnam during the late 1960s.

Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) stars as their manager.

The story has been adapted from the stage musical of the same name by Keith Thompson (Clubland) and playwright Tony Briggs.

Weinstein had this to say of the tale:

“These girls light up the screen as much as their music lights up the stage… We’re thrilled to bring the stories and music from these sisters to audiences all over the world.”

The Weinsteins will distribute the film worldwide, excluding Australia, the UK & Ireland, New Zealand, France, Canada, Israel, Portugal, and on airlines.

Last year, Bob and Harvey Weinstein picked up French silent film The Artist at Cannes, beginning a nine-month campaign to win it the Best Picture Oscar.

The Sapphires will open the Melbourne International Film Festival on August 2, 2012.

Discuss: Does The Sapphires have a similar chance at the 2013 Academy Awards?

2 Responses to “The Weinsteins pick up The Sapphires”

  1. When will this be available in the USA.. . I will be travelling there soo, from Australia and would like to get a copy for friends I will be visiting….
    I hope the American audience loves it as much as the Aussies.

  2. On a recent trip to Australia in late August 2012, my wife and I spent a cold and windy evening at the very small, family-operated Narooma Cinema in New South Wales. As the only Americans to wander in that evening, we sought advice on the current films and were told by the young counter person that “The Sapphires” had received overwhelming positive reviews by previous patrons. We took the advice and were thrilled with the generally feel-good rise of the young Aboriginal girls to fame, but not fortune during the late 1960s. The story-line was predictable, but our emotional response by the end of the film had us discussing it for hours afterwards. I am not certain that it is a great film, but it is one that we both can give our highest recommendation for pure entertainment, a peek into the hatred of Aboriginal people in decades past and an emotional trip that takes you on a non-stop ride. We loved it and await the release in the US on blu-ray (hopefully) where we can share the musical experience with all of our friends. If it does gain award nominations, we’ll be cheering all the way!

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