Paris-based sales company Films Distribution has secured a slew of sales on heart-warming tale about an Algerian refugee who lands himself ajob as a replacement teacher, including to US distributor Money Box.

French sales company Films Distribution has sold all US rights for Quebecois writer-director Philippe Falardeau’s Canadian Oscar submission Monsieur Lazhar to Chicago-based Music Box Films.

“Since Toronto, we’ve concluded a number of additional sales on the film…. it’s proving very popular. I think it has a strong chance of getting short-listed – it’s about children, the subjects of schooling and immigration it touches on are timely and it’s heart-warming” said Films Distribution partner Nicolas Brigaud-Robert.

Paris-based Brigaud-Robert flew to New York after Toronto to conclude the deal with Music Box managing director Edward Arentz.

“Music Box is the probably the leading distributor in the US for French-speaking movies right now,” commented Brigaud-Robert. “There was strong competition from other US distributors for the film and some offered to pay us more but we felt Music Box were really committed in terms of supporting the film. We believe they will do a great job.”

He continued that the picture had also sold to Germany (Arsenal Filmverleih), Australia (Palace Films), Spain (A Contra Corriente), France (TF1/UGC) and Brazil (Conquest). He added that deals for Belgium and the UK were also closed to be being concluded. 

The tale of an immigrant substitute teacher who brings emotional stability to the young pupils of a class shaken by the suicide of their previous teacher, Monsieur Lazhar won the Audience Award at the Locarno Film Festival over the summer, where it screened in competition, and was named Best Canadian Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.