Underlining that there is still an appetite among theatrical buyers for feature documentaries, Paris-based Wide Management has been racking up sales on two of its titles that screened this week at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).
Sandrine Bonnaire's Her Name Is Sabine has been an especially strong draw for distributors. Bonnaire's documentary offers a portrait of the actress/director's sister, a 38-year-old autistic woman. ICA Films has now swooped to take the UK rights. Meanwhile, Wide Management has now closed all rights deals on the film in around a dozen territories. These include the US (Film Movement) French-speaking Canada (FunFilms), Spain (Aquelarre), Slovenia (Demiurge), Benelux (Beeck Turtle), The Netherlands (Cinema Delicatessen) and Poland (Gutek.) The US and Benelux deals were closed after Toronto, but the rest of the deals were all clinched recently.
Bonnaire (who visited IDFA last week) is one of France's best-known actresses.In her documentary, she chronicles the upheavals in Sabine Bonnaire's life. Bonnaire uses personal footage of her sister shot over a 25-year period.
Wide Management has also been attracting further interest in Substitute, the documentary by Fred Poulet and Vikash Dhorasoo. The film follows Dhorasoo, considered as 'the French football intellectual,' during the 2006 World Cup. Shot on super-8mm by the player himself, it chronicles Dhorasoo's frustration and loneliness in a tournament during which he was only on the field for 16 minutes.
Poulet and Dhorasoo were in Amsterdam this week for the IDFA screenings. As already announced, Fantasia Advertising has taken UK rights. The company is expected to release the film next year to tie in with the Euro 2008 football tournament.
Founded in 1997, Wide Management has other docs on its slate including Billy Bang's Redemption Song, about a US Vietnam veteran who returns to South-Asia 40 years after the war in a bid to lay his demons to rest. Wide Management also produced the movie, which will be ready in time for the Berlin Festival in february. Meanwhile, Wide is also selling Jean-Luc Magneron's Mai 68, la belle ouvrage. This documentary looks at the tumultuous events of May 1968 in France. Exclusive new footage is being screened for the first time in Docs For Sales.
'We believe in documentary and it works for us,' Anais Clanet, head of sales, commented of the company's continuing commitment to feature docs.