Marie-Pierre Macia and Juliette Lepoutre’s MPM Film launch in-house sales operation in alliance with former Celluloid Dreams sales manager Pierre Menahem.

Paris-based production house MPM film has announced the creation of an in-house sales department, kicking off its activities with Brazilian Julia Murat’s Historias which is due to screen at the Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals in the coming days.

The new sales division is being set up in collaboration with international film sales veteran Pierre Menahem, formerly sales manager at Celluloid Dreams and then founder of Scalpel Films.

“This alliance comes at a critical moment for films d’auteur on the international market, where the financing difficulties encountered by producers no longer corresponds with the traditional model of sales companies and their often large and disproportionate overheads,” MPM said in a statement.

Under the deal, Menahem and Lepoutre will work together on sales and festival strategy as well as servicing eventual deals with distributors.

“This new alliance is not exclusive. MPM Film reserves the right to call on other sales companies for other productions and Pierre Menahem can also develop this freelance model with other independent producers,” the MPM statement added.

Murat’s Historias Que So Existem Quando Lembradas (which translates as “stories that only exist when remembered”) is set against the backdrop of a fictitious village in Brazil’s once flourishing, but now rundown, former coffee-producing region of the Pariaiba Valley.

The film follows the lives of its elderly inhabitants through photographer Rita who arrives one day to document their lives.

A co-production between MPM, Brazilian Taiga Filmes and Argentine producer Julia Solomonoff, the picture won the Cine Cinema Award at the Rencontres Cinemas d’Amerique Latine in Toulouse last March and is due to screen in Venice Days, Toronto’s Discovery sidebar and San Sebastian’s Horizontes Latinos selection.

MPM (Movie Partners in Motion Film) was founded in 2007 by former Directors’ Fortnight head Macia and producer Lepoutre.

Its productions to date include Hungarian Béla Tarr’s The Turin Horse, winner of Berlin’s Grand Jury Prize this year, and Adrian Sitaru’s Best Intentions, which picked up Best Director and Best Actor awards at Locarno earlier this month.

The company is currently developing Palestinian Ihab Jadallah’s Ramallah-set Dead Sea, Georgian Téona Grenade’s Dzma (Brother) and a documentary by Jean-Marc Lamoure about Tarr.