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Hirokazu Kore-eda

French sales company Wild Bunch is reporting near sell-out sales on Hirokazu Kore-eda’s upcoming French-language debut The Truth, starring Catherine Deneuve as a demanding big-screen diva opposite Juliette Binoche as her long-suffering daughter.

In Europe, it has sold to the UK (Curzon), Benelux (September Film), Spain (Golem), Greece (Seven Film), Portugal (Lusomundo), Denmark (Øst For Paradis), Finland (Cinema Mondo), Norway (Another World), Sweden (Triart), ex-Yugoslavia (MCF), Hungary (Vertigo Media), Czech Republic (Film Europe), Baltics (Kino Pavasaris). Switzerland, Germany and Italy are currently under negotiation.

Elsewhere, the film has sold to Australia (Palace Films), Israel (Lev Cinemas), Turkey (Film Arti), Middle East (Teleview International), Latin America (Sun Distribution) and China (Time-In-Portrait Entertainment). IFC announced on Friday that it had taken North American rights. Apart from China, sales on all other Asian territories are handled by Gaga Corp.

Deneuve stars as Fabienne, a French cinema star. When she publishes her memoirs, her daughter (Binoche) returns from New York with her husband, played by Ethan Hawke, for the launch. The reunion soon turns confrontational as the true story of their lives emerges.

Wild Bunch sales chief Eva Diederix suggested that the worldwide theatrical success of Kore-eda’s previous film, Palme d’Or winning social drama Shoplifters, has been an added draw for his new film. Since its Cannes victory, last year the film has grossed $2.78m for Magnolia in North America and a record £685,000 in the UK for a Japanese film. It drew some 762,000 spectators in France for Le Pacte.

The Truth is also being tipped by Cannes watchers as a potential opening film, although Diederix emphasises that no festival strategy has been set as yet. The feature is produced by France’s 3B Productions and Kore-eda’s Bunbuku and French production company MI Movies.