portrait of a lady of

Source: Lilies Films/Hold-Up Films/Arte France Cinéma

‘Portrait Of A Lady On Fire’

Paris-based mk2 films has unveiled a fresh round of sales on three of the five Palme d’Or contenders on its Cannes 2019 slate; Portrait Of A Lady On FireSibyl and The Whistlers.

Celine Sciamma’s all-female period drama Portrait of A Lady On Fire won best screenplay and tied in second place on Screen’s Cannes 2019 Jury Grid.

It has sold to more than 20 territories worldwide after being subject to a fierce bidding war for North American rights, won by NEON and Hulu.

In Europe, it has been acquired for Germany (Alamode and Wild Bunch), Italy (Lucky Red), Portugal (Midas Filmes), Switzerland (Cineworx), Denmark (Camera Film), Norway (Arthaus), Finland (Cinemanse), Greece (Spentzos Film), CIS (PROVzglyad), Czech Republic (Artcam Film), Hungary (Mozinet), Poland (Gutek Film), former Yugoslavia (MCF) and Romania (Voodoo Films).

In the rest of the world, it sold to Turkey (Mars Entertainment), Israel (Lev), Hong Kong (First Distributors), Taiwan (Andrews Film), South Korea (Green Narae Media), Singapore (Anticipate Pictures), India (Impact Films), and Latin America (Impacto Cine). Inflight rights were acquired by Captive Entertainment.

Produced by Sciamma’s long-time collaborator Bénédicte Couvreur at Paris-based Lilies Films, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is Sciamma’s fourth feature following Girlhood, Tomboy and Water Lilies and marked her first time in Cannes Competition.

Pyramide Distribution will release the film in France in September putting it in the frame to be a candidate for the French foreign language Oscar submission this year.

Set against the backdrop of a remote mansion in 18th century Brittany, Portrait Of A Lady On Fire stars Adèle Haenel as a young woman who experiences love and passion for the first-time with a female artist commissioned to paint her portrait.

Previously announced deals include to the UK (Curzon Artificial Eye), Spain (Karma Films), Benelux (Cinéart) and Sweden (Folkets Bio).

Busy slate

The mk2 films sales team also secured a raft of deals on Justine Triet’s tragi-comedy Sibyl, starring Virginie Efira as a psychotherapist who becomes obsessed with one of her patients, played by Adèle Exarchopoulos.

In Europe, it has been acquired for Benelux (TeleScope Film Distribution), German-speaking territories (Alamode and Wild Bunch), Italy (Valmyn), Greece (Spentzos Film), Spain (Karma Films), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), CIS and Baltics (Russian World Vision), ex-Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom), Hungary (Cirko Film) and Poland (Aurora).

It has also sold to Israel (Lev) and the Middle East (Salim Ramia). In Asia, it has been acquired for China (Huanxi Media), South Korea (Storm Pictures) and Taiwan (Catchplay). In the Latin America, it has been picked up for Brazil (Imovision) and Mexico (Cinemex).

Produced by Les Films Pelléas, it was released by Le Pacte in France last week to coincide with its Cannes premiere, coming fourth in the Paris box office over its first weekend.  

The company also did good business on Romanian auteur Corneliu Porumboiu’s Canary Islands-set crime thriller The Whistlers

Fresh European deals comprise to Benelux (Cherry Picker), Italy (Valmyn), Germany and Austria (Alamode), Greece (Spentzos Film), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), Scandinavia (Njuta), Baltics (Kino Pavaris), Czech Republic (Aerofilms), Hungary (Mozinet), Poland (Gutek Film), Russia (Russian Report)

New deals for Asia include to India (Info2tainment) and Taiwan (Light Year Images). It has also sold to Southern Cone (Zeta Films), Mexico (Interior XIII) Turkey (Filmarti), Israel (Lev), the Middle East (Moving Turtle) and airlines (Encore Inflight).

In previously unveiled deals, Magnolia Pictures announced over the weekend that it had swooped on US rights.

The film also pre-sold to the UK (Curzon Artificial Eye), Switzerland (Bord Cadre Films), ex-Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom) and China (Jetsen Huashi) and South Korea (Line Tree Entertainment). Diaphana has French rights.

Overall, it has proved to be a bumper Cannes for mk2 with its other two Palme d’Or contenders, Mati Diop’s Grand Prix winner Atlantics and Xavier Dolan’s Matthias And Maxime also drawing strong interest.

Hot announced deals on these titles to date include a multi-territory with Netflix for Atlantics