SBS boasts two candidates for the Palme d'Or
by Fabien Lemercier
- Saïd Ben Saïd’s company is handling the production, French distribution and international sales of Elle by Paul Verhoeven and Aquarius by Kleber Mendonça Filho
Paris-based company SBS, managed by Saïd Ben Saïd, is making a powerful comeback to the Croisette, where it will be at the Film Market of the 69th Cannes Film Festival (11-22 May 2016) selling two films selected in the official competition: Elle [+see also:
film profile] by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven and Aquarius [+see also:
film profile] by Brazil’s Kleber Mendonça Filho.
SBS executive-produced and will handle French distribution (on 25 May) for the French-language film Elle (read the article), an adaptation of Philippe Djian’s novel Oh..., which boasts an all-star cast including Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virginie Efira, Alice Isaaz, Judith Magre, Vimala Pons, Jonas Bloquet and Christian Berkel.
Aquarius, the other contender for the Palme d’Or on SBS’ slate, is also a production by the French firm, together with Brazil’s CinemaScópio (Émilie Lesclaux). Michel Merkt is also one of the producers, and Walter Salles is credited as a co-producer. The story revolves around a 65-year-old widow (Sonia Braga), the last resident of a block of flats who refuses to leave, despite the fact that it has been purchased by a company that has other plans for the site. This second feature by the director of the high-profile Neighbouring Sounds will be distributed in France by SBS from 28 September.
At the Cannes Film Market, SBS will also be carrying on with pre-sales for Tomboy by seasoned US director Walter Hill, which is now in post-production. Produced by Saïd Ben Saïd and Michel Merkt, the film is toplined by Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez, and tells a tale of vengeance about an unrivalled hit man who is betrayed by gangsters and by a corrupt plastic surgeon who will transform him into a woman.
Saïd Ben Saïd, who went solo as a producer in 2010 (after he had worked for UGC) and created a French distribution branch in 2014, continues to tread an unusual international career path, as he has films by such names as Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg, Brian De Palma and Philippe Garrel to his credit.
(Translated from French)