EXCLUSIVE: Mongrel International has bulked up its Berlin sales slate, taking international rights on Andrew Steggall’s feature debut.

Juliet Stevenson, London Critics’ Circle Young British Performer Of The Year Alex Lawther of The Imitation Game, Phénix Brossard and Finbar Lynch star in the drama, currently in post.

Departure takes place in the south of France as a mother and her teenage son break down a summer home that was one of the casualties of the woman’s crumbling marriage.

When an enigmatic local boy enters the scene it serves to further complicates their lives.

Mongrel International president Charlotte Mickie will show buyers a sneak peak from the film. Peccadillo Pictures will distribute in the UK and Jour2Fete in France.

Pietro Greppi, Guillaume Tobo and Cora Palfrey produced the Motion Group Pictures and Connectic Studio project, co-funded by the BFI Film Fund and Amaro Films.

Daniel Campos Pavoncelli, Georgia Oetker and Stephanie Keelan serve as as executive producers. Jamie Wolpert is the BFI Film Fund executive on board.

Steggall previously directed shorts as well as theatre and opera productions including directing Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat at London’s Old Vic Theatre with Jeremy Irons.

“It’s a pleasure to see Juliet Stevenson, a wonderful actress, in such a deep rich part; to watch Alex Lawther build on his recent success and to discover newcomer Phenix Brossard, who brings a brooding French touch to this intense British drama,” said Mickie.

“Andrew Steggall has a real voice and eye — every frame is picture-perfect, every emotion elegantly captured. This is real cinema — moody, visually gorgeous and acutely sensitive.

“I met Pietro Greppi for the first time in the halls of the MGB at the last Berlinale and at that point I had no idea what a treat he had in store for me and for international buyers. I am very grateful.”

“We couldn’t be more excited that Charlotte will be presenting a first look of the film at Berlin, exactly a year after we first met her there and told her about the project,” said Greppi on behalf of the production.

“We’re all very proud to have made it so far with the invaluable support of the BFI and all of our financing and distribution partners.”

“The BFI has a strong commitment to identifying and supporting new film-makers with voice and passion,” said Wolpert. “Andrew Steggall’s short films showed that rare combination of visual style with an underlying real emotional truth.

Departure is a sensitive, nuanced film continuing a very British tradition of intimate stories that fill the big screen.”