Front Row Filmed Entertainment/Kuwait National Cinema Company has inked a deal with Medusa Film for the Arabic language remake rights to the 2016 smash hit “Perfect Strangers” (Original title: “Perfetti Sconosciuti). The Arabic version will be a Lebanese/Egyptian co-production in collaboration with Empire International and Egyptian production powerhouse Film Clinic whose latest credits include the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or contender Yomeddine.
Produced by Medusa Film, Leone Film Group and Lotus Productions, “Perfetti Sconosciuti” was released in 2016 and became an instant box office and critical hit, grossing an impressive $ 20 million at the Italian Box Office for a worldwide Box office of $ 31 mil. The film picked up several awards along the way including two David di Donatello awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay as well as the Best Screenplay prize at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival in the international narrative competition section.
The deal was negotiated by Gianluca Chakra, Managing Director of Front Row and Faruk Alatan of Medusa. Mohamed Hefzy, Hisham Alghanim and Mario Jr. Haddad are also attached to produce and finance the project.
“Perfect Strangers” follows the story of seven long-time friends who decide to play a game over dinner by putting all their mobile phones on the table, thus revealing every text message or phone call that they would receive that evening. Hilarity ensues, proving that each one of the friends has three lives: public, private and secret.
“Whether you’re a man or a woman, we all have something to hide… lying is universal. Paolo Genovese and team have delivered one of the most clever and universally adaptable scripts known to contemporary cinema. We’re extremely happy to be involved in such a proven property” says Gianluca Chakra, Managing Director of Front Row.
Perfect Strangers boasts a series of worldwide remakes including a Spanish version which grossed over $25 mil; a Greek adaptation that tallied $1.8Mil ; a Turkish version that accumulated $1.7 Mil. German, Swedish, Korean and Russian versions of the same film are in development. Back in 2016, The Weinstein Company acquired the English language remake rights which had Gianni Nunnari (The Departed, Shutter Island) attached to produce. On October 17, Mars Distribution released the French version under the title “Le Jeu” opening at #2 behind Sony/Marvel’s Venom.
Front Row President and KNCC General Manager Hisham Al Ghanim commented: “We are also looking into more potential remake rights that could resonate well in the MENA. The aim for us is to find different business models encouraging co-productions between the Arab world bridging the different cultures, introducing new talent and eventually gaining more markets. With the right material, this can be done.”
Front Row/KNCC and Empire will theatrically distribute the film in the Gulf and Levant. Film Clinic will handle its theatrical release in Egypt. Front Row will handle all post-theatrical sales across the region.