Penelope Cruz and Ma Ma travel to Benelux, Switzerland, Germany
by Annika Pham
- CANNES 2014: Seville International has closed the first pre-sales on Julio Medem’s Ma Ma, starring Penelope Cruz
The film, currently in pre-production, is having its market debut at Cannes. It is the first title produced by Penelope Cruz, alongside Julio Medem and Alvaro Longoria for Morena Films. France’s Backup Films is co-producing. Based on the director of Sex and Lucia [+see also:
film profile]’s own screenplay, the film tells the story of Magda (Cruz), who reacts to tragedies with a lust for life. Accompanied by her closest circle of friends, she experiences the most unexpected situations filled with humour and delicate happiness. eOne will release it directly in Spain.
Ma Ma is just one of a dozen high-profile, quality films on the Canadian major eOne and Seville’s Cannes line-up. The flagship titles are the Canadian Palme d’Or contenders Captives by Atom Egoyan (just sold to A24/Direct TV for the US); David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars [+see also:
film profile], screening today in the Grand Theâtre Lumière; Mommy [+see also:
film profile] by Xavier Dolan; and the Directors’ Fortnight entry Tu dors Nicole by Stéphane Lafleur.
At Cannes, eOne International is also representing the Canadian/Irish comedy What if by Michael Dowse, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan; and the US thriller in post-production Cut Bank, starring John Malkovich and Liam Hemsworth. Its latest pick-ups are the UK/US film Eye in the Sky [+see also:
film profile] by the Oscar-winning Gavin Hood, starring and produced by Colin Firth; and Trumbo, starring Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren.
The strong market line-up and triple competition selection of eOne/Seville International demonstrates that it is now a new, strong player in the independent market, able to fill the void left by the demise of Focus Features, and to compete with the likes of Canal Plus and Wild Bunch by offering local producers financing, co-production, sales and, importantly, theatrical distribution services in the UK, Canada, Benelux, Spain and Australia/New Zealand.
The company’s president, Harold van Lier, who actually left his top sales position at Canal Plus to head eOne International four months ago, told Cineuropa about his new vision and ambition: “This Cannes is our first market as a rebranded company. Four months ago, I arrived in London, and we have expanded our company really fast from two or three people to a team of 12. Budget-wise, the films we handle are in the $10-20 million range. We are a one-stop shop for producers, offering a nice alternative to US studios, as we are Europe-based but not as controlling as a studio. In the US, we work with top distributors that can handle wide releases. We have four to six films a year and plan to widen it to ten films a year, between our own films and third-party pick-ups.”