Veteran sales agent continues to develop his freelance sales agent model with Valérie Massadian’s Locarno prizewinner Nana.

Paris-based sales agent Pierre Menahem has taken on world sales of Valérie Massadian’s debut feature Nana, which won the Golden Leopard for Best First Film at the Locarno Film Festival in August.

“As a ‘freelance sales agent’, I have decided to take on a new film on behalf of another newcomer producer, Sophie Erbs of Gaijin,” said Menahem. “In France, it is currently under negotiation with a distributor for a spring 2012 release.”

The film follows the lives a four-year-old girl, her mother and her grandfather, living in a remote stone house in the middle of a forest in rural France through the eyes of the child.

“Nana is a patient and deeply emotional tale, a film full of silence and mystery,” said Menahem

The film won much praise at Locarno for its assured style and the on-screen performance Massadian managed to elicit from four-year-old actress Kelyna Lecomte.

Prior to embarking on her first film, Massadian worked as photographer and art director with the likes of US photographer Nan Goldin, Canadian director Francois Rotger (Story of Jen) and US-Haitian avant-garde director Michelange Quay.  

Following on from its Locarno success, the film also won the Best Film award at the Valdivia International Film Festival in Chile last week.

Menahem returned to the international sales scene in a freelance capacity last September, after forming an alliance with Marie-Pierre Macia and Juliette Lepoutre’s Paris-based production house MPM Film to help the company set up an in-house sales department.

Under the non-exclusive deal, Menahem works alongside Lepoutre on sales and festival strategy as well servicing deals with international distributors but also retains the right to work with other independent producers.

MPM and Menahem kicked off the pact with Brazilian Julia Murat’s Historias, which screened at Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian in September.

At Toronto, the film sold to Film Movement and has since been acquired by the EYE Film Institute for the Netherlands and Bodega for France.

“We are very happy to prove that our new sales model works fine,” said Menahem. “No need to be a big established company to do the job properly. And no need to create another sales company either!”