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TORONTO 2019 TIFF Industry

A recap of French sales agents’ main announcements at Toronto

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- Julia Ducournau’s Titane has joined the ranks of Wild Bunch, Filippo Meneghetti’s Two Of Us smiles favourably on Doc & Film, Marco Dutra goes to Indie Sales and Pulsar Content takes flight

A recap of French sales agents’ main announcements at Toronto
Director Julia Ducournau (© Jean-Baptiste Le Mercier/UniFrance)

With just two days to go until the close of the 44th Toronto International Film Festival and its intense, informal market (which a great number of professionals travelled to straight after the 76th Venice Film Festival), French international sales agents are slowly returning to Paris for a brief interval, before the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival (running 20-28 September) kicks off, leaving time to take stock of the major announcements made during the past two weeks.

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For starters, Wild Bunch International (the new entity launched at the beginning of July by Vincent Maraval) announced the sensational arrival of Titane in its line-up, which will be young French filmmaker Julia Ducournau’s second feature film after Raw [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Julia Ducournau
film profile
]
(the star attraction of Cannes’ Critics’ Week 2016). Produced by Jean-Christophe Reymond on behalf of Kazak Productions (who were very received in Venice and Toronto for Arab Blues [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Manele Labidi
film profile
]
) and benefitting from an advance on earnings granted by the CNC, the film, whose story and cast are being kept under wraps for the time being, has already been pre-purchased by Neon for North America. Equally noteworthy news on the subject of Wild Bunch is the brilliant sale of young, Russian prodigy Kantemir Balagov’s Cannes title Beanpole [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
to Kino Lorber for the US.

Amongst the various other masterstrokes played in Toronto, there was also that involving the wonderful Two Of Us [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Filippo Meneghetti (starring Germany’s Barbara Sukowa and French actress Martine Chevallier as co-leads), a film unveiled in a world premiere in the Discovery section which was sold by Doc & Film International to Magnolia Pictures for North America.

Film Movement acquired the North American rights for three titles screened in the various Festival selections and featuring in French sales agents’ line-ups: the majestic Cannes competitor The Wild Goose Lake [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Diao Yinan
film profile
]
by China’s Diao Yinan, sold by Memento Films International, A Girl Missing [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Japan’s Kôji Fukada (discovered in Locarno), brokered by mk2 Films, and Zombi Child [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bertrand Bonello
film profile
]
by French director Bertrand Bonello (which had its premiere on the Croisette, during the Directors’ Fortnight), sold by Playtime. The latter has also been purchased by Mubi for the UK and Ireland.

Meanwhile, Indie Sales added All the Dead Ones to its line-up, by Brazil’s Marco Dutra (winner of the Special Jury Award in Locarno 2017 for Good Manners [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) and Caetano Gotardo, a work currently in post-production. This feature film is piloted by the Brazilian outfit Dezenove Som e Imagens, alongside Clément Duboin representing French firm Good Fortune Films.

The Bureau Sales launched pre-sales of Marie Amiguet’s documentary The Velvet Queen, produced by Paprika Films and Kobalann, and co-produced by Le Bureau. The film tells of the search for an elusive snow leopard in Asia by the French wildlife photographer and explorer Vincent Munier, and French distribution of this work will be managed by Haut et Court.

Off the back of the Belle et Sébastien franchise, Gaumont, for its part, has launched pre-sales of Vicky and Her Mystery by Denis Imbert, a family feature and adventure film currently being shot under the leadership of Radar Films and Solar Entertainment. Shanna Keil, Vincent Elbaz, Marie Gillain, Éric Elmosnino and Tchéky Karyo all star in a cast which tells the tale of an eight-year-old girl who encounters a wolf as she struggles to process the death of her mother.

French international sales agents are also welcoming Pulsar Content into their ranks. Steered by Gilles Sousa (after 12 years working with Bac Films) and Marie Garrett, the new company will operate in association with the ultra-dynamic Lyon-based group Logical Pictures, notably working on Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s upcoming projects. Standing tall in the firm’s first line-up is The Deep House, a project by the duo comprising Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo (Inside [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Livide [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Among the Living [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and soon Kandisha – read our article), which Pulsar Content is set to sell worldwide (except in the US, a territory which the Californian company XYZ Films will take charge of as part of an agreement, which likewise includes a role in the executive production of films financed by Logical Pictures).

Last but not least, in terms of the games of musical chairs played by French sales agents, Bac Films International is henceforth headed up by Marine Goulois (who comes to the role following time spent at SND and Les Films du Losange) and Andrea Dos Santos (formerly of Orange Studio and Alfama Films).

(Translated from French)

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