French sales house FilmsDistribution has acquired several new titles, formed a new alliance andmade some of high-profile sales.
Radu Milhaileanu's LiveAnd Become, which last month took top prizes at the Copenhagen FilmFestival, has been sold to the US's Menemsha in a six figure deal. The film hasalso gone to Klockworx in Japan and will soon head into festival season at bothTelluride and Toronto.
Christian Carion's MerryChristmas, which was at the centre of a bidding war in Cannes before goingto the US's Sony Pictures Classics, is hotly tipped for a bid at being France'sforeign language Oscar entry. The vote comes in mid-September with Christmasrumoured as a favourite.
The film has been sold toCentral Partnership for 16 countries in Russia and Eastern Europe with tenterritories ready to release before the holidays including Germany (Senator),Greece (Film Trade), Belgium (Cineart), Spain (Vertigo), Finland (Future Film)and Sony Columbia UK.
On the acquisitions front,Films Distribution is also unveiling a nascent co-acquisition alliance withproduction and distribution house Haut et Court. Together they have jointlypicked up three new films.
Films Distribution'sFrancois Yon told ScreenDaily.com that the two companies plan toco-acquire a varied number of films per year in a joint effort to extend theirslates. Each company will continue to operate independently and work with theirown films.
Yon noted: "Our competitorsare either theatrical distributors in France or world sales companies that nowhave French distribution." The aim is to combat the problem with Haut et Courtdistributing the acquired films while Films Distribution handles internationalsales.
The first three pictures inthe deal are Anne Fontaine's next film, New Chance. Her latest, EntreSes Mains, will premiere in Toronto. Also on board are Les Poils DuPinceau from first time director Gerald Hustache-Mathieu and MyBrother's Wedding by Swiss director Jean-Stephane Bron.
New films on FilmsDistribution's slate - and outside of the Haut et Court deal - are Canadian hitdramedy C.R.A.Z.Y. by Jean-Marc Vallee; Spanish thriller Angostofrom Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo wherein a murder attempt is told Rashomon-style; anew untitled thriller from Vento Di Terra's Vincenzo Marra and Belgianfilm Nue-Propriete by Joaquim Lafosse
Also on the slate are StartWalking from Coline Serrau which has been sold to Les Films de l'Elysee inBelgium for six figures and will be released by UGC in France on October 12;acclaimed documentary maker Nicolas Philibert's now shooting Back ToNormandie, already sold to Longride in Japan; Philippe Garrell's RegularLovers which premieres in Venice in competition and is sold to Bitters Endin Japan; and Lady Chatterley, a Pascal Ferran directed adaptation of DHLawrence's classically racy novel. Lady has already sold to Japan'sToshiba and Lucky Gems in Hong Kong among others.