Official Competition: IFC Films Nabs Penélope Cruz & Antonio Banderas-Led Spanish Comedy

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According to Variety, IFC Films has successfully acquired the North American distribution rights to the acclaimed Spanish comedy film Official Competition, which is being led by Oscar winner Penélope Cruz and Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas. IFC is planning to release the film in theaters next year.

“Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas shine together on screen in Official [Competition],” IFC Films Arianna Bocco said in a statement. “Their chemistry is undeniable, and we believe U.S. audiences will be delighted to see them come together in this crowd-pleasing film.”

The film had its world premiere last month at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. It was then screened twice at the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival, which both gave the film its first two awards, Outstanding International Feature, and Audience Award, respectively.

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Official Competition is directed by Argentine filmmakers Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat (The Distinguished Citizen) from a screenplay they co-wrote with Andrés Duprat. This reunites Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, after previously starring together in 2019’s acclaimed drama Pain and Glory. Joining them are Oscar Martínez, Pilar Castro, and Irene Escolar.

“In search of significance and social prestige, a billionaire businessman decides to make a film to leave his mark,” reads the synopsis. “To do so, he hires the best: a stellar team formed by famous filmmaker Lola Cuevas and two renowned actors, both enormously talented, but with even bigger egos: the Hollywood actor Félix Rivero and radical theater thespian Iván Torres. Both legends, but not exactly the best of friends. Through a series of increasingly eccentric challenges set by Lola, Felix and Iván must face not only each other, but also their own legacies.”

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Official Competition is executive produced by Cruz, Banderas, Martinez, Laura Fernández Espeso, Javier Mendez, and Javier Pons, with Mediapro Studio’s head Jaume Roures serving as producer.

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