Sony Pictures buys rights to Czech King of England film in US


    One of the largest U.S. film distributors, Sony Pictures, has picked up rights for the Czech film I Served the King of England by director Jiří Menzel.

    A contract was signed during the American Film Market fair (http://www.ifta-online.org/afm/home.asp) in Santa Monica, California, said Petra Wágnerová, press officer for Bioscop (www.bioscop.cz), the Czech distributor of Menzel´s film.

    Sony´s distribution branch, Sony Pictures Classic, will represent the movie in both the United States and Canada.

    "We are very proud we got as our American distributors Sony Pictures (www.sonypictures.com), which is one of the largest and most prestigious companies in the American film industry," Andrea Metcalfe, the film's producer, said in a statement on Nov. 16.

    The U.S. distribution is important for Menzel´s film, which is the Czech Republic's official entry for an Oscar nomination for best foreign-language film. The five nominees will be announced on Jan. 22, 2008.

    On Nov. 14, I Served the King of England was released as the opening film of the New Czech Films Festival, an event organised by the Czech Center in New York.

    I Served the King of England is a smash hit in Czech cinemas, with nearly 900,000 viewers so far who paid about 82 million crowns for tickets, according to the Czech Union of Film Distributors (www.ufd.com).

    Menzel´s film has received several prizes from international film festivals, including Critics Choice at the Berlinale and the Special Credit prize in Sevilla