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BERLINALE 2021 EFM

Los agentes de ventas franceses sobreviven a las llamas de la pandemia en el EFM

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- BERLINALE 2021: Las ventas, los anuncios y los premios han salpicado las cinco jornadas online del European Film Market para las compañías de ventas internacionales francesas

Los agentes de ventas franceses sobreviven a las llamas de la pandemia en el EFM
Les Olympiades, de Jacques Audiard

Este artículo está disponible en inglés.

Armed with a natural, optimistic enthusiasm, not to mention failproof ammunition, which has enabled them to look towards the future and move beyond the restricted context of the unending global health crisis (which has led to a surplus of films for distributors and increasing caution when it comes to acquisitions), French international sales agents have taken the 71st Berlinale’s (online) European Film Market by storm. Here is a brief and non-exhaustive overview of the main announcements to come out of the event.

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Shining bright among the most dazzling vendors is Luxbox, which backed the right horse in the form of Natural Light [+lee también:
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, the first feature film by Hungary’s Dénes Nagy which walked away with nothing less than the Silver Bear for Best Director. The team also kicked off presales on three titles in post-production: Clara Sola [+lee también:
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, the first feature film by Swedish-Costa Rican director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén (which triumphed at the Les Arcs Film Festival’s Work in Progress event in January – read our news), I Want To Talk About Duras by France’s Claire Simon, and Selman Nacar’s first feature film Between Two Dawns (produced by Turkey, alongside French group Arizona Productions, Romania’s Libra Film and Spain’s Nephilim Producciones).

mk2 Films also upped the ante in the wake of Céline Sciamma’s Petite maman [+lee también:
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, which went down very well with the foreign press, left the competition empty handed, but which nonetheless racked up some impressive sales at the EFM, notably being bought by Neon for North America. And four hugely tantalising announcements enlivened the pre-sales film slate of the French sales agent, namely the arrival in their line-up of: A Chiara [+lee también:
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 by Italy’s Jonas Carpignano, a co-production involving Italy, France, Sweden and Denmark on which filming recently wrapped; Corsage by Austria’s Marie Kreutzer (news), on which shooting is about to begin (a production steered by Film AG together with German firm Komplizen Film, Luxembourg’s Samsa Film and French group Kazak Productions); the project Women Do Cry [+lee también:
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by Bulgarian directors Mina Mileva and Vesela Kazakova (who drew a great many heads in Locarno 2019 with Cat In The Wall [+lee también:
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), which is produced by Activist 38 in league with Paris’s Ici et Là Productions; and the Russian-Canadian-German co-production House Arrest by Alexey German Jr. (his most recent film after Dovlatov [+lee también:
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), which is currently in post-production. The team also continued its labours on behalf of the rest of its line-up, notably racking up pre-sales on various other films in post-production, such as The Worst Person In The World [+lee también:
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by Norway’s Joachim Trier and The Young Lovers by Carine Tardieu (article).

Playtime mostly made a killing in pre-sales by way of Jacques Audiard’s Paris, 13th District [+lee también:
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. Currently in post-production, the film was bought for territories including the US (IFC Films), the UK (Curzon), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Poland (Gutek Film), the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Aerofilms), the Benelux Union (Cineart), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), the countries of former Yugoslavia (MCF), Japan, South Korea and Canada. Also worth a mention is the new film in the vendor’s vastly ample line-up: Aïssa Maïga and Isabelle Simeonie’s documentary about the film industry Regard Noir.

Wild Bunch International was rewarded with the Encounters’ Special Jury Prize, which went to Lê Bào’s Taste [+lee también:
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, and they also kicked off pre-sales on James Huth’s The New Toy, which is a remake of the hit film of the same name, made by Francis Veber in 1976. Shooting is due to commence in spring with Daniel Auteuil and Jamel Debbouze playing lead roles (produced by Eskwad, alongside Sony Pictures International Productions). The team weren’t idle in the pre-sales area either, vis-à-vis post-production titles Deception [+lee también:
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by Arnaud Desplechin, Titane [+lee también:
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by Julia Ducournau, Incredible But True by Quentin Dupieux (news), Earwig [+lee también:
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by Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Fire by Claire Denis (article).

For their part, Totem Films took advantage of the trophy won by Alice Diop’s documentary We [+lee también:
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in the Encounters section, as well as capitalising on the much remarked presence in competition of Ballad of a White Cow [+lee también:
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by Iranian directors Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moghaddam, which was bought for more than half of the major international territories over the course of the EFM.

Elle Driver distinguished itself with four new films, namely Robot Dreams, which is the first animated film (in production) by Spain’s Pablo Berger, and three French films: Beautiful Minds by Bernard Campan and Alexandre Jollien (in post-production - article), Lockdown Tower by Guillaume Nicloux (news) and Everybody Loves Jeanne by Céline Devaux (news – which will feature Blanche Gardin at the head of the cast), the latter two being in pre-production.

The EFM also saw Pulsar Content launch pre-sales on Lady Nazca by Swiss director Damien Dorsaz. This English-language film set to be shot in the summer and starring Germany’s Paula Beer and French actor Guillaume Gallienne, will plunge viewers into the early 1940s and will revolve around a mathematician researching some mysterious geoglyphs in Peru. Production is in the hands of French group Octopolis, Germany’s 27 Films Production and Switzerland’s PS Production, with distribution overseen by Tobis Film in Germany and Memento Films in France.

Les Films du Losange rode the wave of their film which is competing in Berlin, Fabian – Going to the Dogs [+lee también:
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by Germany’s Dominik Graf (bought for North America, among other countries, by Kino Lorber), as well as selling Nicolas Maury’s My Best Part [+lee también:
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for the US.

Memento International likewise clinched a deal with Kino Lorber, who acquired the North American rights for Maltese director Alex Camilleri’s Luzzu [+lee también:
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(which bagged a trophy at Sundance). The film has been bought for a huge number of other territories, including Spain (Wanda), the UK (Peccadillo), Scandinavia (Edge), France (Epicentre), Portugal (Legendmain), Greece (Weirdwave), the countries of former Yugoslavia (Kino Mediteran), Eastern Europe (HBO) and China.

Orange Studio, meanwhile, kicked off pre-sales on Steve Achiepo’s Slumlord (article), which has just wrapped filming, as well as on Sophie Boudre’s dramedy Schoolmates! which is currently being shot, not to mention Finnish-Somalian director Khadar Ayderus Ahmed’s feature film in post-production The Gravedigger's Wife [+lee también:
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(a product of Cannes’ Cinéfondation residency), which is produced by Finnish group Bufo, together with French firm Pyramide Productions and Germany’s Twenty Twenty Vision.

The EFM also saw France Télévisions Distribution expand its line-up by way of Fabienne Berthaud’s Little Man Tom (news - in post-production and starring Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Félix Maritaud) and Sylvie Audcoeur’s An Ordinary Mother (currently being filmed with Karin Viard leading the cast), which are joining the likes of post-production titles A Radiant Girl [+lee también:
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(the first feature film to be directed by actress Sandrine Kiberlain) and Hear Me Out by Pascal Elbé (article), which has notably been pre-purchased for Italy (BIM), Spain (Vértigo) and Germany (Neue Visionen).

As regards Pyramide, the firm launched pre-sales on Tralala [+lee también:
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by brothers Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu, while WTFilms did the same for Tel-Aviv/Beirut by Michale Boganim (in post-production – steered by France via Moby Dick Films and Les Films de la Croisade, in co-production with La Voie Lactée, German firm Twenty Twenty Vision and Cypriot outfit AMP Filmworks). StudioCanal, for its part, thrust Emmanuelle Bercot’s Peaceful [+lee también:
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back into the spotlight (now in post-production following an epic film shoot, initially delayed as a result of Catherine Deneuve’s health issues and, later, on account of the health crisis).

Loco Films kicked off pre-sales on The Champion by Polish director Maciej Barczewski (revolving around a boxing champion sent to Auschwitz where he joins with a group of resistant deportees), while Best Friend Forever got the ball rolling on Jean-Christophe Meurisse’s Bloody Oranges [+lee también:
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, as well as labouring on behalf of two films unveiled in the Panorama section (Souad [+lee también:
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by Egypt’s Ayten Amin and All Eyes Off Me [+lee también:
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by Israel’s Hadas Ben Aroya). Reel Suspects are likewise worth a mention, having negotiated on behalf of a title presented in the Panorama section (Bliss [+lee también:
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by Germany’s Henrika Kull) and having also added Vampir [+lee también:
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, by Serbia’s Branko Tomovic (in post-production – article), to its line-up.

Last but not least, some impressive sales were achieved by Other Angle Pictures, thanks to Olivier Dahan’s Simone, A Woman of the Century (article), notably for the US (Samuel Goldwyn Films), Spain (Caramel), South America, Australia and Canada. And Le Pacte struck some impressive deals, too, by way of Olivier Peyon’s Tokyo Shaking (article), which was bought for Spain (Alfa Pictures), Germany and Austria (ZDF), the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Mediasquad), and Israel and Canada (Axia Films), to name a few.

In short, it’s an interim assessment which speaks volumes for the dynamism of French sales agents (despite the dampener placed by health restrictions on cinemas in countless countries), and that’s without including the much-anticipated results of vendors along the lines of Pathé International (news), Charades (news), Gaumont, Bac Films and Coproduction Office (who have upcoming works by Ruben Ostlund , Michelangelo Frammatino, Gus Van Den Berghe and Ulrich Seidl jostling in the pipeline).

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(Traducción del francés)

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