Autlook Film Sales has sold worldwide rights for Norwegian Benjamin Ree’s Sundance hit The Painter and the Thief to Neon, who are riding a wave following the Oscar success of Parasite.
In the Norwegian film, which won the Grand Jury Prize of Sundance World Cinema Documentary Competition, when two of Barbora Kysilkova’s paintings are stolen from an Oslo art gallery, it doesn’t take long to track down the thieves.
But when Barbora confronts one of the thieves, Karl-Bertil, in court, her tone is neither angry nor accusatory. Instead, she would like to paint his portrait, thereby turning the thief himself into art.
“I knew when I met them, before I started filming, that they were fascinating people, and I was really curious about where this story may go,” Ree pointed out to Business Doc Europe in January 2020.
“Both of them wore their emotions on the outside. They were people who really dared to be themselves in front of the camera. They didn’t try to play themselves – so many people are too self-aware.”