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Fernando Trueba’s Animated ‘They Shot the Piano Player’ Acquired at Cannes

Sony Pictures Classics snags the rights for the Bossa Nova-themed feature co-directed by the ‘Chico & Rita’ duo Trueba and Javier Mariscal, with plans for an awards season release.

The rights to the animated musical feature They Shot the Piano Player have been nabbed by Sony Pictures Classics at Cannes. Academy Award-nominated Chico & Rita duo Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal direct from a script by Trueba.

Jeff Goldblum narrates the Bossa Nova-themed feature. The official synopsis is described as following “A New York music journalist on a quest to uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of young Brazilian piano virtuoso Tenorio Jr. A celebratory origin story of the world-renowned Latino musical movement Bossa Nova, They Shot the Piano Player captures a fleeting time bursting with creative freedom at a turning point in Latin American history in the 60s and 70s, just before the continent was engulfed by totalitarian regimes.”

The musically oriented film touts a team of Brazilian musicians including João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Vinicius de Moraes, and Paulo Moura.

“This film has been a 15-year investigation of mine into the life of a musical genius, whose life was unjustly taken by the military coup back in the 70s. I am delighted to celebrate his legacy with the luminous animation of my accomplice Javier Mariscal. We can’t wait for the world to discover his life and music with our friends at Sony Pictures Classics,” said Trueba.

Oihane Abrisqueta Diaz served as visual effects editor while Gonzalo Fraguas Bringas served as the assistant animator. Aitor Herrero and Clara León were storyboard artists.

Trueba PC’s Cristina Huete produced with Serge Lalou for Les Films d’Ici, Janneke van de Kerkhof for Submarine Sublime, and Humberto Santana. Nano Arrieta of Atlantika and Fabien Westerhoff of Film Constellation executive produced.

Neon was the first to make an acquisition at Cannes with Pablo Berger’s animated feature Robot Dreams, based on the graphic novel by Sara Varon.

Sony currently plans to release They Shot the Piano Player during the upcoming awards season.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.