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A rewarding Berlinale for the French sales agents

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- The festival saw some award-winning films and very tidy deals for Celluloid Dreams, Funny Balloons, Pyramide and Memento, as well as for other French companies

A rewarding Berlinale for the French sales agents
Body by Malgorzata Szumowska

With four titles from their slates featuring on the list of winners at the 65th Berlinale, French international sales agents really hit the jackpot and now have some extra aces up their sleeves as they negotiate with distributors in order to top up some already very impressive sales during the European Film Market.

With the Golden Bear won by Taxi by Iranian director Jafar Panahi, Celluloid Dreams has taken centre stage once again, as the company managed by Hengameh Panahi has already sold the film almost everywhere across the globe; the territories that are still available are in very advanced negotiations.

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Funny Balloons also pulled off a smooth move with the Grand Prix won by The Club by Chile’s Pablo Larrain, which Peter Danner’s team has already sold quite widely, including for the United Kingdom (Network Releasing) and France (Wild Bunch Distribution).

Memento Films International will also be satisfied with the Silver Bear for Best Director bestowed upon Polish filmmaker Malgorzata Szumowska for Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
, a feature that has already been acquired for over 15 territories and is in advanced negotiations for a raft of others.

The awards list also smiled upon Pyramide International, thanks to the Best Screenplay Award handed to the documentary The Pearl Button [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Patricio Guzmán (executive-produced by the Paris-based outfit Atacama Productions together with Chile and Spain), which has so far been sold by Eric Lagesse and Lucero Garzon’s team for around 20 territories (including the UK, Germany, Italy and Poland).

For that matter, it is worth noting another French co-production that featured on the list of the Berlinale winners, with the Alfred Bauer Prize snagged by Ixcanul Volcano [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jayro Bustamante
film profile
]
by Jayro Bustamante (co-produced by Tu Vas Voir with Guatemala).

The myriad other French international sales agents proved to be particularly active at the EFM, such as Films Distribution (particularly with Mia madre [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nanni Moretti
film profile
]
by Italy’s Nanni Moretti, which was snapped up by the distributors in anticipation of its world premiere in the spring), Bac Films (pre-selling such titles as Taj Mahal [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nicolas Saada
film profile
]
 by Nicolas Saada), Le Pacte (whose promo-reel for The Brand New Testament by Belgian director Jaco van Dormael won over a great many distributors), Elle Driver (which sold the Berlinale competitor Diary of a Chambermaid [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
for the USA, among other sales), StudioCanal (which continued racking up some impressive pre-sales for the animated title Robinson Crusoe [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Belgian duo Ben Stassen and Vincent Kesteloot, and kicked off sales for the upcoming feature by English director James Marsh) and Gaumont (with a barrage of pre-sales for Up for Love [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Laurent Tirard, starring Jean Dujardin in the lead, among other movies). As they return to Paris, all of these companies will now start knuckling down to completing those sales that are currently in negotiations, and getting ready for the next deadline, the number-one market of the year – that of the Cannes Film Festival (whose 68th edition will take place from 13-24 May 2015).

(Translated from French)

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