The fast-rising art house streamer and distributor has now picked up Ali Abbasi’s official competition entry Holy Spider for the U.K., Ireland, Latin America and Malaysia, where the film will be released theatrically followed by an exclusive Mubi streaming release. Utopia acquired the title for the U.S. earlier in the festival.
The follow-up to Abbasi’s 2018 Un Certain Regard section-winning and Oscar-nominated Border and based on a true story, Holy Spider follows Rahimi (Zar Amir Ebrahimi), a reporter from Tehran who travels to the Iranian holy city of Mashhad, descending into its dark underbelly to track down a serial killer who believes he is doing the work of God, cleansing the streets of sinners by murdering sex workers. As the body count mounts and Rahimi draws closer to exposing his crimes, the opportunity for justice grows harder to attain as the so-called “Spider Killer” is actually embraced by many as a hero. Mehdi Bajestani, Arash Ashtiani, Forouzan Jamshidnejad, Alice Rahimi, Sara Fazilat and Sina Parvaneh also star in the film, which sparked polarizing opinions from critics in Cannes due to its graphic depictions of sex and violence.
Produced by Sol Bondy and Jacob Jarek, executive producers on Holy Spider are Ditte Milsted, Christoph Lange and co-producers are Eva Åkergren, Calle Marthin, Peter Possne, Fred Burle, Vincent Maraval, Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Sorlat, Olivier Père and Rémi Burah.
Wild Bunch International is handling international sales and negotiated the deal.
Holy Spider joins other recent Mubi acquisitions from the Cannes 2022 lineup, including the Park Chan-wook’s competition favorite Decision to Leave, fellow Palme d’Or contender Close by Lukas Dhont, Léa Mysius’s Director’s Fortnight title The Five Devils, Thomas Hardiman’s Medusa Deluxe and Charlotte Wells’ acclaimed Critics’ Week entry Aftersun. Mubi also co-produced One Fine Morning from Mia Hansen-Løve that premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes.