UK distributor takes all UK rights to Rose Bosch and Claude Lelouch-directed WWII-era dramas.
The Roundup is set for a May release, What Love May Bring for late March.
The €20m-budgeted The Roundup stars Jean Reno and Melanie Laurent in the true story of the mass arrest of Jews by French police in Paris in 1942. Known as the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup, the occasion marks a controversial and painful episode in French history.
The Gaumont and Legende-produced drama took €25m for Gaumont in France last year.
What Love May Bring is veteran French director and Oscar winner Lelouch’s first feature in three years. Starring Audrey Dana, Dominique Pinon and Anouk Aimee, the Les Films 13-produced romance-drama is set during the occupation of France.
Released by Rezo in France, the title took $2.1m in September 2010.
“We’ve found that, in our experience, British audiences seem to be more open to watching French films than they are other European language films,” said Revolver CEO Justin Marciano. “The French titles that make it out of the country and onto the international stage tend to be very well vetted and of consistently high quality with recognisable talent. Buyers also benefits from generous support from Unifrance and the CNC.”
The two French-language acquisitions come after Revolver scored success last year with romantic-comedy Heartbreaker, the company’s highest-grossing film of 2010 and the third highest-grossing French title behind A Prophet and The Illusionist.
Revolver also saw French-language success with Guillaume Canet’s thriller Tell No One which took £1.1m in 2007.
David Shear, head of theatrical distribution at Revolver said of the acquisitions: “The kinds of foreign language titles we are picking up have more commercial appeal than purely art-house titles. Our biggest hit to date, Tell No One, gave us a belief that that type of crossover art-house film can reach a large audience in UK. And like Heartbreaker and Tell No One, these new titles will have great ancillary value.”
Heartbreaker was among a number of foreign language titles to get around the language barrier in 2010 through clever marketing. For that particular title Revolver developed a foreign language screening programme in conjunction with a widely circulated glossy and created a targeted social media campaign with SocialMediaBox. Momentum’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was another foreign language title to prosper in part thanks to innovative marketing.