EXCLUSIVE: Music Box plans ambitious release.

Gaumont’s Cecile Gaget has confirmed the sale of Cannes Official Selection title The Conquest to Music Box in the US for an ambitious release.

Xavier Durringer’s controversial film looks at the rise to power of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The deal was negotiated by William Schopnf and Ed Arentz for Music Box and Gaget and Yohann Comte for Gaumont.

Arentz said: “The Conquest will give US audiences a front row seat to France’s most popular political reality show. And, more soberingly, it offers an appropriately cynical view of the international governing class and their behind-the-scenes Machiavellian chess games.”

Conquest also sold to Spain (A Contra Corriente), Canada (E1), Benelux (Lumière), Switzerland (Pathé), Greece (Odeon) and Israel (Orlando).

Gaget said key European territories like Germany and Spain are back on form, noting that Spain’s A Contre Corriente also acquired Untouchable by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano and Golem took pregnancy dramedy A Happy Event. Also in Spain, Jean Reno haute cuisine comedy The Chef is in co-production discussions.

Germany’s Tiberius acquired Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, the Pusher remake and Sylvain Fusée’s Philibert, while Senator made a big deal for Untouchable.

Overall, Gaget said this was one of the strongest markets ever for Gaumont where most of the business done was in pre-sales. Notably, The Chef pre-sold in 17 territories.

In Italy, Videa picked up Happy Event and The Chef. Gaumont sold out in Benelux with The Chef and Late Bloomers to Lumière; Only God Forgives, Happy Event and the Pusher remake to Cinéart; Gerard Jugnot comedy Someday My Dad Will Come to Elysées: Untouchable to Victory and Gang Story to UDream. The latter also sold to E1 for the UK.

Other sales include Philibert to CIS (Top Film), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Hollywood Classics); Untouchable to Switzerland (Frenetic), Greece (Film Trade), Korea (Line Tree), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Hollywood Classics), Hungary (MTVA); Late Bloomers to Mexico (Cinema Nueava Era), Poland (Monolith), Bulgaria (A+), Hungary (MTVA); Only God Forgives to the Middle East (Four Star), Indonesia (Pt Amero); Pusher (remake) to the Middle East (Four Star), Greece (Village Roadshow), Canada (E1) and Happy Event to Indonesia (Pt Amero), Singapore (MVP) and Hungary (MTVA).

The complete Chef sales not previously noted are as follows: Latin America (Gussi), Australia (Icon), CIS (Top Film), Middle East (Four Star), Poland (Monolith), Taiwan (Serenity), Korea (Mirovision), Singapore (MVP), Hungary (MTVA), Indonesia (Pt Amero), Greece (Village Roadshow), Bulgaria (A+), Romania (SPI), Czech Republic/Slovakia (Hollywood Classics), China and Hong Kong (Deltamac).