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VENICE 2020

French sales agents deliver six contenders for the Golden Lion

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- Charades, FTD, Celluloid Dreams and Indie Sales are setting the pace in Venice where 17 other French international sales agents can also boast at least one film each in the showcase

French sales agents deliver six contenders for the Golden Lion
Lovers by Nicole Garcia

They’ve been chomping at the bit for months behind their screens and this 77th  Venice International Film Festival (running 2 – 12 September) - the first major, international festival to unfold in person since February’s Berlinale - will allow these numerous and ever-dynamic French vendors to set foot on the Lido so as to engage, at long last, in face-to-face (socially distanced) negotiations, and close deals which would otherwise take virtual form.

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And these agents have no shortage of trump cards up their sleeves as six of the eighteen films taking part in the official competition are the shining stars of French line-ups: two come courtesy of Charades (The Macaluso Sisters [+see also:
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by Italy’s Emma Dante and American production The World to Come by Norway’s Mona Fastvold), two hail from Celluloid Dreams (the Italian-Belgian production Miss Marx [+see also:
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by Susanna Nicchiarelli and Sun Children by Iran’s Majid Majidi), Lovers [+see also:
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interview: Nicole Garcia
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by French director Nicole Garcia is offered up by FTD (France TV Distribution) and Quo Vadis, Aida ? [+see also:
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by Bosnia’s Jasmila Zbanic is part of the Indie Sales line-up. Also worth a mention are the two Golden Lion contenders put forward by the German outfit Films Boutique, a subsidiary of the French group Playtime: And Tomorrow the Entire World [+see also:
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by Germany’s Julia Von Heinz and Dear Comrades [+see also:
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by Russian veteran Andreï Konchalovsky.

Standing tall among the French sales agents in the running for the Golden Lion is Charades, who are wielding a third ace on the Lido: Shorta [+see also:
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by Danish duo Anders Ølholm and Frederik Louis Hviid, which will enjoy its world premiere at Venice’s International Film Critics’ Week.

Seventeen other French international sales agents are likewise brandishing weapons in the various Venetian selections. Wild Bunch will mainly be wagering on three films, with Mandibles [+see also:
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interview: Quentin Dupieux
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by the iconoclastic French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux showcasing out of competition (sales managed jointly by WTFilms), and French production The Third War [+see also:
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interview: Giovanni Aloi
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by Italy’s Giovanni Aloi jostling in the Orizzonti line-up alongside American Gia Coppola’s Mainstream.

On the topic of Out of Competition offerings, mk2 Films will negotiate on behalf of The Ties [+see also:
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by Italian filmmaker Daniele Luchetti, which is opening the Festival today, while Pathé International is selling British production The Duke [+see also:
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by Roger Michell. In terms of documentaries, The Party Film Sales can hope to seal some good deals thanks to City Hall by America’s Frederick Wiseman, while Sophie Dulac Distribution are helming sales for Camille Lotteau’s French title Princesse Europe [+see also:
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(to be shown in a Special Screening).

As for the competitive Orizzonti section, Alpha Violet intends to do good business via Apples [+see also:
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interview: Christos Nikou
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by Greek director Christos Nikou and Memento Films International will be pinning its hopes on Night of the Kings [+see also:
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interview: Philippe Lacôte
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by the French-Ivory Coast filmmaker Philippe Lacôte. The same goes for Bac Films International with The Man Who Sold His Skin [+see also:
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interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
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by Tunisia’s Kaouther Ben Hania, Versatile with Gaza Mon Amour [+see also:
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by the Palestinian brothers Tarzan and Arab Nasser, DreamLab Films with Careless Crime by Iran’s Shahram Mokri, and Arizona with its co-production Yellow Cat [+see also:
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by Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov.

Elsewhere, Venice Days will see Shellac snap into action, selling – having co-produced – The Stonebreaker [+see also:
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interview: Gianluca and Massimiliano D…
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by the Italian brothers Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio. Loco Films will join them, negotiating on behalf of The Whaler Boy [+see also:
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interview: Philipp Yuryev
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by Russia’s Philipp Yuryev, as will Parisian firm Yilisoo Films with the Chinese-French co-production Mama [+see also:
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interview: Li Dongmei
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by Li Dongmei. Also worth a mention are two titles featuring in the line-up of Indie Sales’ Belgian subsidiary Best Friend Forever: the French-Algerian co-production Honey Cigar [+see also:
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interview: Kamir Aïnouz
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by Kamir Aïnouz, which will be opening Venice Days in competition, and Saint-Narcisse by Canada’s Bruce LaBruce.

Last but not least, International Critics’ Week will see Reel Suspects selling the Lithuanian production The Flood Won’t Come [+see also:
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interview: Marat Sargsyan
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by Armenian director Marat Sargsyan, while MPM Premium will be negotiating on behalf of Ghosts [+see also:
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by Turkey’s Azra Deniz Okyay, thus rounding off a very strong contingent of French vendors wielding a host of Venetian aces and ready and raring to take full advantage of their exhibition on the Lido, where the physical presence of the global film industry is (cautiously) reasserting itself.

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(Translated from French)

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