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CANNES 2021 Marché du Film

The Story of My Wife tops Films Boutique’s sparkling Cannes slate

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- The Berlin-based international sales company has five plum titles to show off on the Croisette, including Ildikó Enyedi's film and Lingui, The Sacred Bonds, both in competition

The Story of My Wife tops Films Boutique’s sparkling Cannes slate
Léa Seydoux and Gijs Naber in Ildikó Enyedi’s The Story of My Wife

Next month’s Cannes Film Festival (running 6-17 July) is lining up to be quite the cineaste and show-business bonanza, but Berlin-based sales outfit Films Boutique will be hoping for comparable activity in the market. Headed by Jean-Christophe Simon and Gabor Greiner, the company has just finished last week’s Pre-Cannes Screenings taking place within the Marché du Film, and will continue working as the festival and market begin their physical editions next week. All five of their Cannes titles, all of which will unspool in the official selection, are productions from countries not widely represented in the whole line-up, but which fit in very well with the company’s focus on innovation and on cinema as art. 

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The starriest title in the slate is undoubtedly Ildikó Enyedi’s The Story of My Wife [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ildikó Enyedi
film profile
]
, her follow-up to the Berlin Golden Bear-winning On Body and Soul [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
interview: Ildiko Enyedi
interview: Réka Tenki
film profile
]
. An English-language production featuring a diverse international cast of Léa Seydoux, Gijs Naber and the ubiquitous Louis Garrel in the leading roles, the film follows a Dutch sea captain who makes a bet in a café to wed the first woman who enters through the door. Enyedi based the screenplay on the eponymous novel written by Hungarian author Milán Füst, a text she was passionate about as a girl. Deriving also from the legend of the Flying Dutchman, both novel and film present a gender-flipped variation on that story. The Story of My Wife is a co-production between Hungary, France, Italy and Germany, and was set to premiere last year before the pandemic delayed its release.

Also widely anticipated is Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Lingui, The Sacred Bonds [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Achou…
film profile
]
, set to be the Chadian maestro’s third film in competition for the Palme D’Or after A Screaming Man [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Grisgris [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. A timely story of feminine agency and resistance, the film follows a mother and daughter, both practicing Muslims, who attempt to seek an abortion for the latter, in a country where it is both illegal and considered morally unconscionable. The film is co-produced by France, Germany and Belgium. 

In the other sections, Films Boutique have another Golden Bear winner, Semih Kaplanoğlu in the midst of yet another of his trilogies: this is Commitment Hasan [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, premiering in Un Certain Regard and already possessing an eye-catching trailer. Rehana, a Bangladeshi-French co-production by Abdullah Mohammad Saad is also highly tipped, described as a ‘Me Too’ story and marking the first Bangladesh-produced film to be screened in Cannes.

Rounding out the five films in their slate is a debut by a very familiar face: this is Mi Iubita, Mon Amour [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by none other than Noémie Merlant, who broke Cannes hearts starring in Portrait of a Lady on Fire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Céline Sciamma
film profile
]
. An autobiographically-inflected story, this finds a young woman (played by Merlant) travelling to Romania with friends, where she meets and falls in love with a much younger boy. The film will premiere in the Cannes Special Screenings section, which has in recent years showcased directorial works by known actors. Merlant will also be seen in Jacques Audiard’s competition romance Paris, 13th District [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

Sales of course will continue on Films Boutique’s recent festival-premiering titles, including Elisabeth Vogler’s Roaring 20’s [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, just at Tribeca, and Berlinale competition prizewinners Mr. Bachmann and His Class [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Forest - I See You Everywhere [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

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