Goodfellas has unveiled the first English-language trailer for Ladj Ly’s Les Indésirables (Bâtiment 5) set to world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival tonight (September 8). 

Watch the trailer above.

The social drama follows a young woman (newcomer Anta Diaw) deeply involved in the life of her community, who discovers a redevelopment plan for her neighbourhood calling for the demolition of the block where she grew up and led behind closed doors by a young doctor thrust into the role of mayor (Les Misérables’ co-writer and star Alexis Manenti). Together with the inhabitants of the building, she embarks on a fierce battle to prevent the destruction of their home.

The film is Ly’s follow-up to Oscar and Bafta-nominated and Cannes Jury Prize-winning Les Misérables that sold across the board including a record deal with Amazon in Cannes, and also won four César awards including Best Film of the year.

For Les Indesirables, Ly reteams with Toufik Ayadi and Christophe Barral’s Srab Films who produce alongside the filmmaker’s own Lyly Films as co-producer. Also returning are Les Misérables co-writer Giordano Gederlini, French distributor Le Pacte, and cast members Manenti, Steve Tientcheu and Jeanne Balibar who join breakout star Diaw and Aristote Luyindula among an ensemble cast that features mostly local residents of Montfermeil where the film was also shot.

Goodfellas has already secured numerous pre-sales solely based on the script, mostly for return customers.

“Most of the distributors of Les Misérables have been eager and enthusiastic about acquiring Ladj’s next project from the very beginning,” said Goodfellas head of Sales Eva Diederix.

The film, set for a release in France on December 6 comes after June’s riots that shook France following the police shooting of a teenager at a traffic stop. Ly, who was wrapping editing on Les Indésirables at the time, told Screen he hopes the film will give a more human, more personal perspective to current events: “Through my films, the objective is to spark debate. For people to come together after the film, sit at the table together and discuss the issues and find solutions. I also want audiences to put themselves in the shoes of these residents, to look at these people and how they live and how they are often misjudged by society.” He added: “It’s important that films like this are seen. People don’t want to hear about these issues, but they exist and it’s time to face reality.”

Comparing the film to Les Misérables, producer Ayadi said: Les Misérables was so powerful, but this time we wanted the script to be more pacified. There is anger, but the characters always take the higher road. There’s no gratuitous violence. There are characters who don’t get along, when they get mad, they react, but they come down from it.”

Srab and Goodfellas will also reteam for Ly’s upcoming feature, the third in a social justice-themed trilogy set in his native Parisian outer boroughs, currently in development.

Goodfellas brings a hefty slate to the market in Toronto with the festival’s opening night gala Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy And The Heron and official selection titles including Mehdi Fikri’s police violence aftermath drama After the Fire, Farah Nabulsi’s suspense drama The Teacher about a Palestinian educator juggling politics and emotions, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Cannes competitor Monster, Gabriel Abrantes’ family-focused drama-horror Amelia’s Children and Jean-Luc Godard’s posthumous Trailer of the Film That Will Never Exist: “Phony Wars.”