IFC Films has confirmedits acquisition of all North American rights to Catherine Breillat's Sex IsComedy, the well-received OpeningNight selection of this year's Directors' Fortnight in Cannes which ithopes will introduce the provocative French director to her widest statesideaudience yet.
The acquisition wasannounced Thursday by Bob Berney, senior vice president of marketing &distribution for IFC Films, the indie distribution outfit currently enjoyingbox office success in the US with Alfonso Cuaron's record-breaking Spanish-languagehit Y Tu Mamá Tambiènas well as with the comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding, produced by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.
Produced by Jean-FrancoisLepetit for Flach Film, Sex Is Comedy was written and directed by Breillat and stars Anne Parillaud (in adramatic return to US screens following her successful role in La FemmeNikita) and Grègoire Colin (BeauTravail, Nanette Et Boni).
In his review at Cannes, ScreenInternational's Allan Huntercalled Sex Is Comedy "a witty, tightly-constructed andclear-sighted work of autobiography where affection replaces the bitter,feminist anger of Breillat's previous films and perhaps reveals a glimpse ofher true colours."
Until now, Breillat has beenidentified with her notorious succes de scandale, Romance and A Ma Soeur (Fat Girl), which were released in the US by Trimark Pictures andCowboy Films, respectively. Sex Is Comedy is being released in France on June 24.
Parillaud stars in SexIs Comedy as a film directorstruggling to balance the emotional wear and tear involved in filmmaking. IFCsays that the story, while funny at times, also offers serious and intelligentinsight into the dynamic and intimate relationship between an actor anddirector, in particular the challenge of executing an intense seduction scene.
"It's a very smartcomedy about the creative process and sexual politics," said Berney,adding. "We are excited to release Sex Is Comedy, a funny and very accessible film that willintroduce Catherine Breillat to a wider American audience."
In Cannes, Berney andSarah Lash, director of acquisitions, negotiated the deal on behalf of IFCFilms and Eric Lagesse on behalf of Flach Pyramide.
IFC Films is a divisionof Bravo Networks' IFC Entertainment. Its upcoming releases include PaulMcGuigan's Gangster No. 1,starring Malcolm McDowell and Paul Bettany; The Chateau, a comedy starring Paul Rudd and directed by JessePeretz; Rose Troche's The Safety Of Objects, starring Glenn Close and Dermot Mulroney; andAustin Chick's feature film debut, XX/XY, starring Mark Ruffalo. Currently in release it the John SaylesRetrospective, which includes The Return of Secaucus Seven (1979), Lianna (1980) and The Brother From Another Planet (1985).