Company re-launched in March with release of Under the Fig Tree

French Industry veterans Eric Aigle and Jacques Ouaniche have re-launched Paris-based distributor Ocean Films.

The company launched its new slate in March with the release of Anne-Marie Etienne’s intergenerational tragicomedy Under the Fig Tree, starring 99-year-old actress Gisele Casadesus.

The film was a breakout, word-of-mouth hit drawing 200,000 admissions.

Ouaniche, who produces under the Noé Productions banner, which made art-house pictures such as Abdellatif Kechiche’s Games of Love and Chance (L’Esquive) and more recently created the popular TV franchise Maison Close.

Aigle is a former managing director of MK2 and after that Celluloid Dreams, who created MK2 Edition during his time at the company, buying the catalogues Francois Truffaut and Charlie Chaplin.

The pair bought Ocean at the end of 2011 and has spent the last 18 months building its new slate.

“We bought the catalogue in a joint operation with Studio 37. We took the VOD and video rights. Studio took the TV and theatrical rights. It’s a nice catalogue with films like Goodbye Lenin, Elementary,” explains Aigle.

Ocean’s new slate includes the late Glenio Bonder’s Belle de Seigneur, which will come out in June; Victor Young Perez, starring real-life former boxer Brahim Asloum as titular 1930s Jewish boxing star who died in Auschwitz; Berenice Bejo-starring diamond heist picture The Last Diamond and African-set animation Adama.