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DISTRIBUTION France

Pathé continues to reign

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Heading the 2008 rankings of distributors in France with a total of 29.35m admissions (i.e. 21m more viewers than their main competitor Paramount), Pathé Distribution have every reason to be satisfied with the exceptional results for the first semester, achieved largely thanks to the performance of Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
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(20.26m admissions). But the company – directed by François Ivernel and Marc Lacan – also has some impressive titles in store for autumn.

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On September 24, Christophe Barratier’s Faubourg 36 [+see also:
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film profile
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will hit screens. The second feature by the director of The Choir [+see also:
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stars Gérard Jugnot and Kad Merad alongside Clovis Cornillac.

Next on the line-up are two films by Jean-François Richet, which centre on the gangster Jacques Mesrine (played by Vincent Cassel) and have been compared by international buyers to Scarface and Les Affranchis (“The Liberated Ones”). The first instalment, Death Instinct – starring Cécile de France, Gérard Depardieu, Roy Dupuis and Gilles Lellouche – will be released on October 22. The second part, Public Enemy Number One – starring Ludivine Sagnier, Mathieu Amalric, Gérard Lanvin, Olivier Gourmet, Samuel Le Bihan and Anne Consigny – will be launched on November 19.

Pathé will also be hoping for success with Pierre Jolivet’s La très très grande entreprise (“The Very, Very Big Company”), starring Roschdy Zem, Jean-Paul Rouve and Marie Gillain (set for release on November 5); Saul Dibb’S UK feature The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes and Charlotte Rampling (set for release on November 19); Etienne Chatiliez’s comedy about racism, Agathe Cléry, featuring Valérie Lemercier (release date - December 3); and Nicolas Bary’s Les enfants de Timpelbach (“The Children of Timpelbach”).

Pathé Distribution’s slate for the first half of 2009 also contains some gems. These include Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (set for release on January 7, 2009); Lisa Azuelos’ LOL, starring Sophie Marceau, and Yann Moix’s Cineman (both set for release in February 2009); Olivier Baroux’s Safari (set for release on April 1, 2009); and Costa GavrasEden Is West, starring Riccardo Scamarcio (set to be launched in the first quarter of 2009).

The spring line-up also looks promising, with the May launch of Sylvain Chomet’s animated filmThe Illusionist (adapted from Jacques Tati’s screenplay by the creators and director of The Triplets of Belleville); Belgian director Jaco Van Dormael’s ambitious title Mr. Nobody, starring Jared Leto, Diane Kruger, Sarah Polley and Linh Dan Pham; and Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces, featuring Penélope Cruz, Lluis Homar, Blanca Portillo and José Luis Gomez.

Cannes season will also see the release of Jane Campion’s Bright Star and Stephen FrearsChéri (“Darling”), starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend and Kathy Bates. Finally, Christian Carion’s Farewell – which stars Emir Kusturica, Guillaume Canet and Alessandra Maria Lara – is set for release on November 11, 2009.

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(Translated from French)

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