Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all North American rights to the Viewer's Choice Award, Grand Rail d'Or, winner at the 2013 Critics' Week, The Lunchbox. The film, written and directed by Ritesh Batra, stars Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi), Nimrat Kaur and Nakul Vaid. The Lunchbox is produced by Guneet Monga and Anurag Kashyap of Sikhya Entertainment (India) and Arun Rangachari of Dar Motion Pictures (India), co-produced by Nina Lath Gupta of NFDC (India), Shanaab Alam, Vivek Rangachari, Sunil John, Nittin Keni, Karsten Stöter and Mercedes Ruehl of Rohfilm (Germany), Cédomir Kolar and Marc Baschet of ASAP Films (France), Danis Tanovic and executive produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher of CineMosaic, Irrfan Khan and Ritesh Batra.
In The Lunchbox, a mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects a young housewife to a stranger in the dusk of his life. They build a fantasy world together through notes in the lunchbox. Gradually, this fantasy threatens to overwhelm their reality.
Here's what writer-director Ritesh Batra had to say in a statement.
"I am thrilled SPC is on board with The Lunchbox. The film is a delicate story with lots of humour and pathos, and SPC is a good home for our film and a great team."
Guneet Monga of Sikhya Entertainment also added the following statement.
"I am excited to associate with SPC for The Lunchbox. This bolsters my belief in good films and encourages the new wave of Indian Cinema. Hopefully, this landmark relationship will only mark as one of many more collaborations in the near future. Being associated with SPC for the first Indian-French-German co-production truly marks this as a celebration of International Cinema from India."
Sony Pictures Classics also released the following statement on behalf of the studio.
"The Lunchbox is one of those enchanting movies that will have audiences and critics floating on air. We are so happy to be bringing this movie to the American public. This movie represents the birth of a major international filmmaker."
This deal, negotiated by Michael Weber of The Match Factory, continues Sony Pictures Classics' long relationship with The Match Factory and Weber, most recently with Fill the Void.