Paris-based The Bureau Sales has unveiled more deals on Aleem Khan’s UK drama After Love, which received its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival in October.
It has been acquired for Italy (Teodora), Switzerland (Frenetic), Greece (Strada), Australia (Madman), Greece (Strada) and South Korea (Pancinema).
Previous deals include to France (Rezo Films) and UK-Ireland (BFI Distribution).
The feature has won praise for UK actress Joanna Scanlan’s performance as a recently widowed Muslim convert who discovers her husband had a secret life in the northern French port of Calais, a short hop across the English Channel from their home in Dover. The discovery shakes her and she sets off on a journey in search of the truth.
It marks Khan’s first feature, after his Bafta-nominated short Three Brothers. Khan, who was named a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2015, developed the project with the support of the Sundance Institute screenwriter and director labs.
After Love is produced by Matthieu de Braconier for The Bureau, co-producers are Gabrielle Dumon and Gerardine O’Flynn and executive producers are Natascha Wharton for the BFI, Eva Yates for BBC Films and Vincent Gadelle for The Bureau.
After Love was selected for Cannes Critics’ Week’s special 2020 selection as well as Telluride Film Festival, but made its physical world premiere in London after these two events were cancelled due to the pandemic
It has since played festivals including Rome, Tokyo, Morelia and Thessaloniki. After Love also recently won the French Gan Foundation distribution prize, which comes with a €20,000 grant for Rezo Films to support its release in France.
The Bureau Sales head of sales Clementine Hugot said that selection for Cannes Critics’ Week and subsequent screenings on the festival circuit had helped secure international distribution during the pandemic.
“The sales have come together alongside the festival selections over a longer timeframe than normal but it remains encouraging for the period, especially for this type of arthouse film,” she said.
“It’s a gentle and luminous film by a talented director. Good press and word-of-mouth have helped draw attention and raise interest in spite of everything.”
Khan’s debut short, Diana, premiered at the BFI London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in 2009. His subsequent short, Three Brothers, screened at the LFF in 2014 and received a Bafta nomination.