SCREEN October 10, 2014 | By Melanie Goodfellow
Indie Sales has acquired international rights to feature-length stop motion film My Life As A Zucchini, based on a screen adaptation by filmmaker Céline Sciamma of a popular novel.
The Paris-based company will launch sales on the film at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) alongside another new acquisition, Pierre Jolivet’s new project The Night Watchman, starring Olivier Gourmet.
My Life As A Zucchini is the first feature-length film by Swiss director Claude Barras after a series of well-received animated shorts including Chambre 69 and Land of the Heads.
It is a Swiss-French co-production between Rita Films in Switzerland, Blue Spirit Productions in Paris and Gebeka in Lyon. Gebeka will also distribute in France.
The film is an adaptation of Gilles Paris novelAutobiography of a Zucchini about a young boy adapting to life in a children’s home after his mother’s sudden death.
“I was quickly seduced by the bold simplicity of Zucchini,” said Sciamma, who was in Cannes this year with Girlhood, which premiered in Directors’ Fortnight.
“Many fairy tales can be harsh and cruel, Zucchini is not. This film embodies the tenderness of initiatory stories, which take place in the real world, our world, the world of children today for whom this film is intended,” she said.
Indie Sales will have a short pilot and script available in Toronto.
The company will also commence sales on Jolivet’s The Night Watchman, starring longtime Dardenne Brothers collaborator Olivier Gourmet as a down-on-his luck, night-time security guard in a shopping centre in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Paris.
His life takes a strange turn one night after he investigates a swanky car that pulls into the empty parking lot, believing he may be on the verge of uncovering an imminent crime and possibly covering his humdrum life in glory.
Produced by 247 Productions, the Paris-based production house behind Delicacy, the film is currently in post-production for a 2015 delivery. Ad Vitam will distribute in France.
The company is also representing two Venice Orizzonti titles: Quentin Dupieux’s Reality and Michele Alhaique’s Rome-set thriller Senza Pieta about a Mafia henchman who goes on the run from his boss after he challenges his sadistic son. The latter is also screening in TIFF’s discovery section.
“After having started our sales activity only a year ago, we think it’s great to be getting our first completed films through to these major festivals,” said Indie Sales founder Nicolas Eschbach, noting that another title on its slate, Marie’s Story, recently won the Piazza Grande Award in Locarno.
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