By Margot Thomas
HANDS OF STONE, the movie about the life of legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, will get a special showing at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, as part of a tribute to another legend, Robert De Niro.
De Niro, Oscar-winning actor De Niro plays the role of Duran’s manager and coach Ray Arcel.
Jonathan Jakubowicz’s “Hands of Stone,” one of The Weinstein Company’s biggest swings of 2016, will receive an Official Selection Special Screening at this year’s Festival.
The May 16 Screening will be held in the Palais des Festivals’ Grand Theatre Lumière. Produced, distributed and sold internationally by The Weinstein Company, “Hands of Stone” tracks the rise to glory of Duran(Edgar Ramirez) from selling newspapers and cleaning shoes in El Chorillo to his celebrated fights with Sugar Ray Leonard.
“I’m excited to be coming back to Cannes especially with this movie ‘Hands of Stone’ that I’m so proud of,” De Niro told Hollywood’s Variety magazine. “This movie is uplifting, triumphant and a good time for audiences, so I’m looking forward to seeing my friends from across the world of cinema in joining us for this fun event.”
“’Hands of Stone’ is vintage De Niro. Anyone who knows Bob, knows what a passion he has for boxing and his huge input into this movie made it very realistic and smart,” added Harvey Weinstein.
He added: “On behalf of the company, we are thrilled that the Festival de Cannes chose to honor Bob this year with a special screening. It promises to be a fun time and a fantastic night to pay tribute to one of the great men of our industry.”
Having taken international sales, The Weinstein Company swooped on domestic distribution rights at the 2015 Cannes Festival, committing to release Roberto Duran’s life story on at least 2,000 screens.“Hands of Stone” will be released in the U.S.(and Panama) on August 26. Jonathan Jakubowicz, Ramirez and Ana de Armas will also attend the Cannes Special Screening.
De Niro, who starred in two Palme d’Or winning movies – “Taxi Driver” in 1976 and Roland Joffe’s “The Mission” in 1986 – served as president of the Cannes Festival main jury in 2011.
“Hands of Stone” is produced by Jay Weisleder, Carlos Garcia de Paredes, Claudine Jakubowicz and Jonathan Jakubowicz.
Renowned Panama singer, multi Grammy winner,actor and former Panama Tourism czar, Ruben Blades, who says he will run for president in 2019, plays the role of Duran’s attorney Carlos Eleta.
“The tribute to Robert De Niro is deserved. It is obvious that he is very happy with his participation in Hands of Stone, and he is doing everything possible to promote it. This shows his respect and admiration for Duran “, said Blades.