yao Wild bunch

Source: Pathe


Wild Bunch has unveiled a slew of sales for Philippe Godeau’s Senegal-set, feel-good dramaYao, starring Omar Sy as a French-Senegalese writer who returns to his native country for a book tour, ahead of its market premiere during the Unifrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris this week.

In Europe, it has sold to Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Spain (Diamond Films), Greece (Spentzos Films), Italy (Cinema SRL), Scandinavia (Njuta), Iceland (Sena Film), ex-Yugoslavia (Fivia), Hungary (Mozinet), Czech Republic (Film Europe), CIS (Total Films). 

In other parts of the world it has sold to Israel (Shoval), Turkey (Filmarti), South Africa (Pay-tv), North Africa (Les Films 26), Latin America (California Filmes) and China (Times Vision). Skeye have taken airline rights.

Pathé Distribution will release the film in France on 250 screens on Jan 23.

Sy plays a renowned French-Senegalese writer who returns to his native country, where he connects with a young boy who has travelled 300km alone from his village to the capital of Dakar to meet his literary hero. The pair embark on an adventure-filled journey of self-discovery across Senegal as Seydou accompanies the boy back home.

It marks the first live-action, Africa-set role for popular French actor Omar Sy, who was born in the suburbs outside Paris to parents hailing from West Africa. 

The company has also detailed deals on Pierre Godeau’s Jean-Jacques Sempé adaptation Raoul Taburin, starring Benoit Poelvoorde as a renowned bicycle dealer in a small town in the South of France desperate to hide the fact he cannot ride a bicycle without stabilisers.

It has sold to Benelux (O’Brother), Switzerland (Praesens), Germany (NFP), Greece (Rosebud 21), Bulgaria (6A Media), ex-Yugoslavia (Fivia), Hungary (Vertigo), Czech Republic (Aerofilms), Romania (Independenta), Poland (Gutek).

Beyond Europe, it has also been picked up for Turkey (Filmarti), Middle East (Teleview), Colombia (Babilla), Japan (Cetera), South Korea (The Coup) and China (DDDream International). Skeye have taken airline rights. Altitude, which boarded the film at the development stage, has UK rights. 

Garrel’s love triangle draws buyers

The company is also reporting good business on Louis Garrel’s love triangle tale A Faithful Man, in which Garrel co-stars opposite wife Laetitia Casta with Lily-Rose Depp.

The film premiered at TIFF then played at San Sebastian, where it won the jury prize for best screenplay.

European deals include to Benelux (Amstelfilm), Germany and Switzerland (Wild Bunch Germany), Spain (Bteam Pictures), Greece (Tanweer), Italy (Europictures), Portugal (Lanterna), ex-Yugoslavia (MCF), Hungary (Cine Nuovo), Czech Republic (Film Europe), Romania (Independenta), Baltic States and CIS (A One).

It has also drawn buyers in Asia, selling to Japan (Senlis), Taiwan (Creative Century), China (Jushi Films), and India (Vista). Latin American deals include to Brazil (Supo Mungam), Mexico (Canibal), and Colombia (Babilla). In other territories, it has been acquired for Australia (Palace), Israel (Shani), Turkey (Bir) and Middle East (Empire).

Ad Vitam released the film in France on Dec 26 and, as previously announced, Kino Lorber has acquired US rights.

Rendez-Vous screenings

As well as Yao, Wild Bunch will also screen Raoul TaburinA Faithful Man and market premiere Allan Mauduit’s girl power black comedy Rebels during the Rendez-vous. 

The company will be based at Claude Lelouch’s Club 13, which is close to the official meeting’s new hub of the Hotel du Collectionneur.

Beyond the completed titles, Wild Bunch will also kick off and continue sales on a half a dozen upcoming French-language titles including Rebecca Zlotowski’s steamy, female empowerment tale An Easy Girl, Guillaume Nicloux’s spa-set comedy Just Great, starring Michel Houellebecq and Gérard Depardieu and Arnaud Desplechin’s crime tale Oh Mercy.