EXCLUSIVE: German comedy Toni Erdmann is attracting buyers following a strong critical reception.

Toni Erdmann_2

Buyers are stampeding to acquire Maren Ade’s comedy Toni Erdmann – one of the few German films to screen in Competition in Cannes in recent years – following a rapturous reception and glowing reviews.

Pim Hermeling’s September Films has snapped up Benelux rights, while Haut et Court is already on board for France and Filmcoopi Zurich has Switzerland.

Last night, Sony Pictures Classics swooped on North American and Latin American rights.

Sales agent The Match Factory anticipates further details on the comedy, which recorded the highest score to date on Screen International’s jury grid.

It has been seven years since Ade’s Berlin Silver Bear winner Everyone Else, an edgy relationship drama that scored distribution in more than 20 countries. Her third feature, Toni Erdmann, is another in-depth character study about a music teacher who tries to correct the over-serious nature of his career-focused daughter with a barrage of jokes.

Sandra Hüller (Requiem) plays the daughter and veteran Austrian theatre actor Peter Simonischek the father. Majority produced by Ade’s own Komplizen Film, which has worked with Miguel Gomes among others, this is the only new German-language title to feature in the official selection.


September has also taken another Competition film for Benelux, picking up rights from Elle Driver to Cristi Puiu’s Competition selection Sieranevada

Puiu’s return to the Croisette after Aurora and Un Certain Regard winner The Death Of Mr Lazarescu is about a neurologist facing a family showdown in Bucharest following the death of his father.

Producers are Anca Puiu for Mandragora and Laurence Clerc and Olivier Théry-Lapiney for Alcatraz Films. 

After Love

In a third deal, September has picked up Dutch rights from Le Pacte to Joachim Lafosse’s marriage drama After Love (L’Economie Du Couple), which screens in Directors’ Fortnight.

Bérénice Bejo and director/actor Cédric Kahn star in this French-language drama about a couple who decide to divorce after 15 years but continue to share their home for financial reasons.

The Belgian director’s credits include Venice competitor Private Property, Toronto selection The White Knights and Our Children, which won Un Certain Regard’s best actress prize for Emilie Dequenne in 2012.

Les Films du Worso’s Sylvie Pialat (Timbuktu, Stranger By The Lake) produced, in co-production with Belgium’s Versus.