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The Settlers, Inshallah A Boy, Driving Madeleine – Deadline

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In a lull for specialty openings early in the new year, three foreign-language films are taking a shot. The Settlers, winner of the Cannes Un Certain Regard FIPRESCI Prize, and Inshallah A Boy are Cannes alumns and Oscar submissions from, respectively, Chile and Jordan (neither short-listed in a competitive field). Driving Madeleine is a crowd pleasing French film.

The Settlers is a western presented by Mubi in limited release at the IFC Center/NY and Laemmle Royal/LA. The debut feature by writer-director Felipe Galvez is a frontier epic set at the turn of the 20th century as three horsemen set out across the Tierra del Fuego archipelago tasked with securing a wealthy landowner’s vast property. Accompanying a reckless British lieutenant and an American mercenary is mestizo marksman Segundo, who comes to realize their true mission is much darker. Stars Mark Stanley, Camillo Arancibia and Benjamin Westfall. Screenplay by Galvez and Antonia Girardi.

The latest U.S. theatrical release from the global streaming service, producer and parent of The Match Factory, will expand to additional markets throughout January.

Inshallah A Boy from Greenwich Entertainment by first-time director Amjad Al Rasheed, opens at the Film Forum in NYC. It world premiered at the Cannes’ Critics’ Week — the first Jordanian film to debut on the Croisette, garnering splendid review. See Deadline’s here.

After the sudden death of her husband, a widow (Muna Hawa) fights for her inheritance to save her small daughter and her home. In a society where women are pressured to relinquish property rights to male relatives, having a son can change everything. The film highlights the urgency of contemporary women’s rights issues amid courtroom intrigue and intricate family dynamics. 

Co-written by Al Rasheed, Delphine Agut, and Rula Nasser.

In Driving Madeleine from Cohen Media Group, helmed by Christian Carion (Joyeux Noël), a simple taxi ride across Paris evolves into a profound meditation on the realities of the driver (Danny Boon) and his fare, a 92-year-old woman (Line Rinaud), whose warmth belies her shocking past.

Boon is best known for his comedic work, Renaud is renowned in France as a singer. The film, which premiered at TIFF in 2022, is finally getting its theatrical release. Deadline’s review today calls it “irresistibly cast with exceptional veteran stars who each grab the heart and never let go.”

CMG led into the opening with a filmmaker retrospective at Quad Cinemas this past week, and a battery of word-of-mouth screenings.

“It’s a sweet spot before the Oscar nominations come out when we have a chance to put our foot in,” said CMG’s marketing and distribution chief Justin DiPietro.

Opens at the Quad in NYC, Landmark Sunset, Landmark Pasadena Playhouse, Encino Town Center 5, adding locations through January.

Expansions: Amazon MGM’s American Fiction by Cord Jefferson expands to 625 locations (+511 locations) and 100+ DMA’s. 

And A24’s Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer adds 7 screens to 25.

Indian films opening include Merry Christmas by Sriram Raghavan, Captain Miller by Arun Matheswaran and Guntur Kaaram by Trivikram Srinivas.

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