Focus Features International start sales in Cannes on Heitor Dhalia’s Brazilian sexual awakening tale Adrift, which screens in Un Certain Regard.

Alison Thompson, president of sales and distribution, added the film to her sales slate, which features four new market titles, because it offered buyers the chance to make a discovery and was “a delight and very reminiscent of Eric Rohmer.”

Vincent Cassel stars alongside Camilla Belle and Brazilian newcomer Laura Neiva in the Portuguese-language story based on Dahlia’s screenplay about a young girl who comes of age one summer on the Brazilian coast.

Focus produced with Fernando Meirelles’ O2 Filmes. Meirelles and regular collaborator Andrea Barata Ribeiro produced along with Bel Berlinck.

“People will respond very warmly to this beautifully made film,” Thompson said. “Because it’s turned out so well and is playing in Un Certain Regard, we wanted to present it to the market. Given that the market is quite tough I don’t want to impose films on our distributors, but by the same token everyone likes to discover something they haven’t been tracking for a long time.”

Thompson said this year’s market slate was “very, very strong” and includes three other titles new to market: Mike Leigh’s untitled project starring Jim Broadbent, Phil Davis and Imelda Staunton; Kevin Macdonald’s Roman Britain drama Eagle Of The Ninth with Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell; and Noah Baumbach’s comedy Greenberg starring Ben Stiller.

Thompson added that she was cautiously optimistic about the market despite recent reports that the pre-sales business is in dire straits. The sentiment has been echoed by other leading sales agents who argue that quality product at realistic prices will find buyers.

“The international sales business continues to underpin our strategy and Cannes remains the market where we conduct our most important business in the calendar,” Thompson said.

Focus Features International’s slate also includes competition entries Broken Embraces from Pedro Almodovar and Taking Woodstock from Ang Lee as well as Alejandro Amenabar’s historical drama Agora, which is screening out of competition.