Paris-based Bac Films International has revealed early sales on Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania’s drama The Man Who Sold His Skin ahead of its world premiere in Venice’s Horizons section this week.
The feature has pre-sold to the Netherlands and Belgium (Cinéart), Turkey (Bir Films), Taiwan (Creative Century) and Russia (Ten Letters). Bac Films will distribute the English, Arabic and French-language film in France.
Syrian actor Yahya Mahayni stars as a young man who flees his native Syria for Beirut after being hounded by the police. In a bid to secure a safe and legal passage to Europe, he strikes a Faustian pact with a controversial artist to have a visa tattooed on his back and be an exhibit on a worldwide tour.
Other cast members include Monica Bellucci as the artist’s hard-nosed fixer and assistant, Belgian actor Koen de Bouw as the artist and French big-screen debutant Déa Liane as the protagonist’s Syrian sweetheart.
Tunisian filmmaker Ben Hania presented her breakthrough mockumentary The Challat Of Tunis in Venice’s Final Cut industry showcase in 2013, aimed at finding post-production support for Middle Eastern and African features, and returned in 2018 as a member of the Luigi De Laurentiis jury for first features.
Her debut fiction feature Beauty And The Dogs, about a rape victim seeking justice, premiered in Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2017.
Nadim Cheikhrouha at Paris-based Tanit Films and Habib Attia at Tunis-based Cinétéléfilms lead produced her latest feature in association with Guillaume Rambourg, Lassaad and Rafik Kilani and with the support of co-producers Twenty Twenty Vision, Kwassa Films, Laika Film & Television, Metafora Media Production, Sunnyland Film (ART Group), Film I Vast, Voo & Be Tv and Istiqlal films.