Screen highlights the buzz titles ready to entice international buyers at the 2022 European Film Market (EFM).
Wild Bunch International kicks off sales on Algeria-set drama Houria starring Lyna Khoudri as a talented dancer whose career is cut short by a violent attack. It is Algerian-French director Mounia Meddour’s second feature after Cannes 2019 Un Certain Regard breakout Papicha. The company also handles Berlin Competition titles Both Sides Of The Blade (aka Fire) from Claire Denis and Kamila Andini’s Before, Now & Then as well as Dario Argento’s Dark Glasses and Quentin Dupieux’s Incredible But True, which both premiere in the Berlinale Special sidebar.
Totem Films launches Finnish drama The Woodcutter Story, the directing debut of The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Mäki co-writer Mikko Myllylahti. Further buzzy additions include Italian actress Jasmine Trinca’s debut feature Marcel!; Oum by Moroccan-French director Sofia Alaoui, who won the Sundance grand jury short prize in 2020 for So What If The Goats Die; and German director Anna Roller’s coming-of-age drama Dead Girls Dancing.
Alpha Violet is screening Sundance 2022 grand jury prize winner Utama and is also handling Berlin Encounters title Unrest by Switzerland’s Cyril Schäublin, about the birth of the anarchist movement in a Swiss valley in the late 19th century.
Playtime is set for a high-profile EFM as the sales agent on Francois Ozon’s Berlinale opening film and Golden Bear contender Peter von Kant as well as Rithy Panh’s Competition title Everything Will Be OK and special gala selection About Joan.
Elle Driver kicks off sales on Elena Lopez Riera’s debut feature The Water (El Agua) set in a village overshadowed by a legend that suggests women are predestined to disappear with seasonal floods. It will also debut new promo reels for Lockdown Tower by Guillaume Nicloux, and Céline Devaux’s debut feature Everybody Loves Jeanne, which mixes live action and animation.
Les Films du Losange is handling Panorama opener Nobody’s Hero by French filmmaker Alain Guiraudie and will market premiere Emilie Carpentier’s energetic debut feature The Horizon, about the political awakening of a young woman who comes from a housing project. Upcoming titles on its slate include animation Titina and Mia Hansen-Love’s One Fine Morning.
mk2 Films has Golden Bear contenders The Passengers Of The Night by French director Mikhaël Hers and Alcarras by Spain’s Carla Simon.
Pulsar Content launches French director Edouard Salier’s sci-fi drama Things Behind The Stars about twin brothers training to be astronauts in 2041. Salier recently took directing credits on Amazon Original series Voltaire High and and Russian director Dimitri Dyachenko’s survival thriller The Rage. Other titles on its slate include Dragon Princess, the latest feature animation from French content studio Ankama.
Pyramide International kicks off sales on Christophe Honoré’s 14th feature Le Lycéen, starring newcomer Paul Kircher as a 17-year-old who reaches a watershed moment in his life. He is joined in the cast by Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lacoste. Other new additions include Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzman’s An Imaginary Country, exploring Chile’s 2019 social inequality protests, and North Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska’s Sarajevo-set drama The Happiest Man In The World, exploring the human legacy of the Yugoslav Wars.
The Party Film Sales launches a trio of new titles: Thai filmmaker Phuttiphong Aroonpheng’s second feature Morrison, about a former popstar who returns to his childhood region to renovate an old hotel; French-Algerian director Damien Ounouri’s ambitious 16th-century drama The Last Queen about a legendary princess who tried to protect her country from the scourge of infamous pirate Barbarossa; and Stéphane Malterre’s haunting documentary The Lost Souls Of Syria. It also handles Panorama title We, Students!.
SND market premieres Jérome Salle’s Russia-set political thriller Kompromat and comedy Two Of Kind, starring Ahmed Sylla and Bertrand Usclat as a Black man and white man who discover they are long lost twins. Other EFM launches include amnesia comedy-drama Eloise’s Journey starring Sara Giraudeau, and Olivier Treiner’s romantic drama Julia, which explores how fate and personal decisions shape destiny. Lou de Laage, Grégory Gadebois, Isabelle Carré and Denis Podalydes feature in the cast.
Loco Films has boarded sales on Russian Encounters title Brothers In Every Inch about twin brothers training to be military pilots. It is the second feature for Alexander Sokurov protégé Alexander Zolotukhin after debut A Russian Youthplayed in Berlinale Forum in 2019. The company also handles compatriot director Julia Trofimova’s student love story The Land Of Sacha, which debuts in Generation 14plus.
Indie Sales launches sales on Belgian director Robin Pront’s thriller Zillion, inspired by the rise and fall of the legendary Antwerp club, as well as Alberto Mascia’s dystopian sci-fi drama Hypersleep, starring Stefano Accorsi, and Marc Fitoussi’s female buddy movie Two Tickets To Greece starring Laure Calamy, Kristin Scott Thomas and Olivia Côte.
Urban Distribution International launches a quartet of films: Moroccan director Hicham Ayouch’s satirical comedy Abdelinho, about a man with a passion for Brazil who gets on the wrong side of a televangelist preacher; Faouzi Bensaïdi’s Sahara-set western Deserts; actor/filmmaker Guillaume Gouix’s road movie Amore Mio starring Elodie Bouchez and Alysson Paradis; and Japanese director Chie Hayakawa’s dystopian drama Plan 75.
WTFilms has kicked off sales on French director Jérôme Dassier’s spy thriller Let Her Kill You starring Italian star Asia Argento and award-winning French actress Jeanne Balibar and has a new promo reel costume drama Apaches: Gang Of Paris about a violent gang which terrorised Montmartre in the early 1900s. It also co-handles Quentin Dupieux’s Berlinale Special title with WBI
Gaumont makes a rare foray into documentary to handle sales for Berlinale Special selection Heart Of Oak, about a 200-year-old tree. It also screens Mabrouk El Mechri’s Kung Fu Zohra, which won the VPRO Big Screen Award at Rotterdam.
Memento International is handling French-Swiss director Ursula Meier’s Golden Bear contender The Line, starring Stéphanie Blanchoud as a violent young woman who is banished from the family home. It will also screen street-children drama Tropic Of Violence and launch sales on Tarik Saleh’s political thriller Boy From Heaven.
Buzz titles for Studiocanal include Spanish director Isaki Lacuesta’s Golden Bear contender One Year, One Night, about a Spanish couple who survive the 2015 Bataclan terror attack in Paris; This One Summer, the latest coming-of-age tale from The Bélier Family director Éric Lartigau; and animated sequel Ernest & Célestine 2: A Trip To Gibberitia.
Charades handles Japanese director Sho Miyake’s drama Small, Slow But Steady, which debuts in Encounters, and will also be seeking to tie up sales on Spanish rural revenge tale Piggy on the back of its buzzy reception at Sundance.
Luxbox screens Mexican drama Dos Estaciones which premiered at Sundance, winning lead actress Teresa Sanchez a special jury award for her performance as a woman battling to keep her tequila factory and agave plantation afloat. Upcoming titles include Tunisian filmmaker Erige Sehiri’s debut fiction feature Under The Fig Trees offering a rare picture of rural youth in her country.
Orange Studio will continue sales on a trio of French productions first unveiled at the Unifrance Paris Rendez-Vous in January: Julien Rambaldi’s comedy The Nannies, Nicolas Pariser’s theatre world whodunnit The Green Perfume and family adventure A Cat’s Life.
Documentary specialist Reservoir Docs is handling Shabu, about a fame-obsessed teenager. It plays in Generation Kplus having world premiered at IDFA at the end of last year. It also has Berlinale Special selection 1341 Frames Of Love And War about celebrated Israeli photographer Micha Bar-Am.
Reel Suspects has boarded sales on Panorama title Grand Jeté by German director Isabelle Stever about an incestuous relationship between a dancer and her grown-up son, who she distanced herself from as a child.
Best Friend Forever is handling sales on Encounters title Coma by French director Bertrand Bonello. It will also continue its push on Anti-Squat by Nicolas Silhol, and Emmanuel Gras’ immersive documentary A French Revolution, which explores the yellow-vest movement from insides its ranks.
Shellac handles Canadian director Denis Côté’s Golden Bear contender That Kind Of Summer, about three women thrown together in a rest home to receive treatment for sexual issues. Upcoming films include Régis Sauder’s En Nous, in which the director revisits the teenage subjects of his 2011 documentary Children Of The Princess Of Cleves. The film opens the Cinéma du Reel festival in Paris in March.
France TV Distribution launches sales on Andréa Bescond and Eric Métayer’s nursing-home comedy drama Big Kids about residents of a nursing home and a group of boisterous young pupils from a nearby school who are forced to share lunch facilities while the school cafeteria is refurbished. It is the French directing duo’s second feature after Little Tickles, which world premiered in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2018. Big Kids is produced by Denis Pineau-Valencienne and Francois Kraus at Les Films du Kiosque, the Paris-based production house behind mainstream hits La Belle Epoque, Peaceful, How To Be A Good Wife and Kung Fu Zohra. France TV Distribution will continues sale on social drama Parisian Hustle as well as market-screening thriller An Ordinary Mother and social drama Little Man Tom.
MPM Premium handles sales on Iranian director Ali Asgari’s Panorama title Until Tomorrow, about a single mother who turns to desperate measures to hide her illegitimate child from her visiting parents. The company is also looking to tie up more business on Paz Encina’s Rotterdam top prize winner Eami.
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