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Indie Sales boards French titles 'Knocked Up' and 'Little Man' (exclusive)

SCREEN DAILY January 16, 2019 | Melanie Goodfellow

Paris-based Indie Sales has acquired international rights to both Sophie Letourneur’s comedy Knocked Up and Benjamin Parent’s coming-of-age tale Little Man ahead of the five-day Unifrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris, which kicks-off on Thursday (Jan 17).

Knocked Up (Enorme) stars Marina Foïs as a world-renowned pianist who travels the world with her husband, coach and agent, played by Jonathan Cohen. 

After witnessing the birth of a baby on a transatlantic flight, the husband becomes broody and secretly tampers with his wife’s birth control pills. To her horror, she falls pregnant.

It is the fourth feature from Letourneur after ChicksGaby Baby Doll and Les Coquillettes, which went down well in Locarno in 2013. Memento Films Distribution has picked up French rights for a release in the second half of 2019. 

“It’s a new step in Sophie Letourneur’s career as is aimed at larger audience,” said Nicolas Eschbach, CEO and co-founder of Indie Sales.

The film is produced by Caroline Bonmarchand at Avenue B Productions, as a co-production with Vito Films.

Debut feature

Indie Sales is also kicking off sales on Parent’s debut feature, the Little Man (Un Vrai Bonhomme) about a sensitive teenager as he attempts to make a fresh start in a new high school after being expelled from another institution.

“The script has an amazing twist which makes the film unique,” says Eschbach.

Parent’s previous work includes the short It’s Not A Cowboy Movie which screened in Cannes Critics’ Week 2012 and was nominated for a César in 2013.

The cast features established actress Isabelle Carré (Marie’s Story) alongside rising stars Thomas Guy, who was recently seen in Sébastien Marnier’s School’s Out and Benjamin Voisin, who had small parts in The Happy Prince and Bonne Pomme.

The film is produced by Caroline Adrian for Delante Productions. Ad Vitam will release the film in France later this year.

Read Full Article HERE

‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ Bought by European Distributors, Cohen Media for the U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY October 9, 2018 | Elsa Kesslassy

Sameh Zoabi’s “Tel Aviv on Fire,” the critically acclaimed Israeli comedy that world premiered at the Venice Film Festival, has been acquired by Cohen Media for the U.S., along with a flurry of distributors in key territories.

Paris-based sales company Indie Sales has also sold the pic to Italy (Academy Two), Spain (Surtsey Films), Switzerland (Trigon Film), and Greece (Seven Films). Indie Sales is now in final negotiations to close deals for Canada, Benelux, Germany, and Austria.

The politically-charged comedy world premiered at Venice in the Orizzonti section, nabbing the best actor award for Kais Nashif. It went on to play at fests in Toronto and Haifa, where it won best film and screenplay prizes.

Tel Aviv on Fire” reteams actor Kais Nashef and Lubna Azabal (“Incendies”), who co-starred in the foreign-language Oscar-nominated “Paradise Now.”

“Tel Aviv” follows the journey of Salam, a charming 30-year-old Palestinian man living in Jerusalem who works as an intern on a hit 1967-set soap opera produced in Ramallah about a Palestinian female spy who has a love affair with an Israeli general.

Salam’s life takes an wild turn after he meets Assi, who runs the Israeli checkpoints that he has to drive through every day. Assi starts asking Salam to change the show’s storyline to please his wife, who is a big-time fan. Thanks to Assi’s ideas, Salam’s career takes off, but when the show’s financial backers start disagreeing on how the series should end, Salem gets caught in the middle.

The distribution deal was negotiated by John Kochman, the executive vice president of Cohen Media, and Georgia Poivre, the company’s head of acquisitions, as well as Indie Sales co-founder and CEO Nicolas Eschbach.

“‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ is that rare movie — a big-hearted satire about Israeli-Palestinian relations, fueled by cheerful self-mockery from both sides,” said Cohen Media founder and chairman Charles S. Cohen.

Kochman, meanwhile, described Zoabi (“Under the Same Sun”) as “an exciting new voice” and said this film was “a must-see for anyone following Mideast politics or the state of modern world cinema.”

“The market is responding very well to this fresh and smart comedy. It takes hope as its driving force with exciting precepts: laughter can reconcile the irreconcilable,” said Eschbach.

“Tel Aviv” was produced by Samsa Film (“Möbius”), TS Productions (“Incendies”), Lama Films (“Paradise Now”), and Artémis Productions (“I Am Not Your Negro”). United King and Haut & Court will distribute the movie in Israel and France, respectively. The French release is planned for Feb. 27.

Read Full Article HERE

Indie Sales acquires Romanian drama 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' ahead of Warsaw premiere (exclusive)

SCREEN DAILY September 26, 2018 | Melanie Goodfellow

Paris-based Indie Sales has acquired world rights to emerging Romanian filmmakers Gabi Virginia Sarga and Catalin Rotaru’s debut feature Thou Shalt Not Kill, ahead of its premiere at Warsaw Film Festival (Oct 12-21).

The film is inspired by a real-life scandal in Romania about terrible hygiene standards in the country’s hospitals and the use of substandard, diluted disinfectants to clean operating surgeries.

Rising Romanian actor Alexandru Suciu stars as a young surgeon who starts a solitary fight against a corrupted system after the sudden and suspicious death of one of his patients. Other cast members include Cristina Flutur, who shared the best actress prize at Cannes in 2012 alongside her co-star Cosmina Stratan in Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills.

Directorial duo Sarga and Rotaru’s short film 4.15 PM The End of the World – about a courier who has a life-changing encounter with a hitchhiker who announces the end of the world  – premiered in the short film competition at Cannes in 2016. 

Thou Shalt Not Kill is competing in Warsaw’s 1-2 Competition, aimed at first and second features by directors from all over the world. 

“We grew up in communism,” said Sarga and Rotaru. ”In those times, we were always told not to speak up. I thought this has changed by now. But in 2018 we hear the same thing: shut up, it’s not your problem, let others fix it. Our film tells the story of a doctor who cares, who gets involved and who has the courage to say out loud that the system is corrupt.”

The film is produced by Adina Sădeanu at Bucharest-based Axis Media Production and co-produced by Sarga and Rotaru’s Green Cat Film.

Thou Shalt Not Kill was funded with the support of the Romanian Film Fund, the National Television of Romania and Zenith Media and was shot in just 21 days in Bucharest in November 2017.

Simon Gabriele, Indie Sales head of acquisitions, said: “We are delighted to work with Catalin and Gabi. The film is a very strong and universal statement about corruption and modern heroism. We follow the moral fight of a surgeon who won’t let the system win.”

Romanian distribution is handled by Idea Film Distribution which will release it in early 2019.

Read Full Article HERE

'Alien' doc bursts out at TIFF for Indie Sales (exclusive)

SCREEN DAILY September 9, 2018 | Jeremy Kay

Paris-based Indie Sales has launched worldwide sales talks in TIFF on the documentary Memory – The Origins Of Alien, which reveals the exclusive untold origin story behind Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece.

Director Alexandre O. Philippe and producer Exhibit A Pictures collaborated on Sundance 2017 documentary 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene, which sold around the world to IFC Midnight, Dogwoof, Netflix, Hulu, and ARTE, among others.

The filmmakers said Memory – The Origins Of Alien will reveal previously unseen materials from the archives of writer Dan O’Bannon and designer H.R. Giger, including story notes, drawings, designs, behind-the-scenes footage, and O’Bannon’s original 29-page Memory script from 1971.

Philippe and Exhibit A Pictures have also conducted interviews of the film’s cast and crew, and relatives of O’Bannon and Giger.

Memory – The Origins Of Alien shot in 4K resolution in Los Angeles, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, London, and Toronto, and is being lined up for an early 2019 release to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of Alien.

Indie Sales CEO and co-founder Nicolas Eschbach said, “It’s better than a kid’s dream to handle this one-of-a-kind documentary about Ridley Scott’s Alien, which contributed to shape our contemporary pop culture.

“Alexandre’s talent to grasp the essence of a reference film like Psycho has already been praised with his brilliant 78/52. We are convinced that Memory will deliver a revealing and wholly original take on one of Hollywood’s most beloved and iconic shockers, and will not only win the hearts of hardcore fans and cinephiles, but also intrigue and fascinate general audiences around the world.”

Producer Kerry Deignan Roy of Exhibit A Pictures, added, “We are delighted to partner with the Indies Sales team which has not only believed in this film from its earliest stages, but understands the scope and ambition of this project as a follow-up to 78/52.”

Memory is, full-on, a mythological deep dive into one of the films that influenced me to become a filmmaker, and a long-overdue tribute to its creator and writer Dan O’Bannon,” said Philippe. “After the success of 78/52, we have pushed the envelope structurally, sonically, and visually, to deliver our most daring and original film-on-film to date; and I am thrilled to partner with Indie Sales to let it burst out onto the screen in 2019.”

Screen Division and Milkhaus are co-producing the feature, and Diane O’Bannon, Carmen Giger and Leslie Barany served as executive producers.

Read Full Article HERE

Indie Sales acquires biopic 'Adventures Of A Mathematician' (exclusive)

SCREEN DAILY September 7, 2018 | Melanie Goodfellow

Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired world rights to German director Thorsten Klein’s upcoming English-language debut Adventures Of A Mathematician, inspired by the life of late legendary Polish-American scientist Stanislaw Ulam, whose work contributed to the development of the hydrogen bomb as well as computers. 

In separate news for the production, the company also revealed that Polish-French actor Philippe Tlokinski has been cast in the role of the protagonist Stanislaw, or Stan, alongside French actress Esther Garrel. Tlokinski replaces Jakub Gierszal who was originally announced for the role.

Born into a wealthy Jewish Polish family in 1909, talented young scientist Ulam fled his native country on the eve of its invasion in 1939 by Nazi Germany for the US. There, he played a central role in developing the country’s nuclear weapons alongside other legendary figures in the fields of science and mathematics such as Edward Teller and Jack Calkin.

Principal photography starts on September 10 on the production which is adapted from the Ulam’s own autobiography of the same title. Indie Sales is taking over the international sales mandate from Mongrel Media, which was previously attached to the project.

“We’re very excited to get on board of this ambitious European co-production,” commented Indie Sales chief Nicolas Eschbach. “It’s a very unusual view on World War Two, revolving around the many European scientists who crossed the Atlantic during the conflict and showing how their lives were an adventurous ride as well, in the vein of Imitation Game.”

As previously announced, Irish actor Sam Keeley – a 2014 Screen Star of Tomorrow – and Swiss actor Joel Basman remain in place to play US mathematician Jack Calkin and Hungarian physicist Edward Teller respectively.

Adventures Of A Mathematician will be the second feature from Klein after his mystery thriller Lost Place, about a group of teenagers who stumble on an abandoned radio tower in the forest. The 3D production was released in Germany by NFP/Warner Bros in 2013.

Lena Vurma, lead producer at Dragonfly Films, said: “We are delighted to team up with Indie Sales, who are known for their boutique selection of titles such as Oscar-nominated The Insult and their love and commitment for the projects they support.”

The film is produced by Dragonfly Films, Zischlermann Filmproduktion in Germany, Mirror Productions in UK and ShipsBoy in Poland. Co-producer is Erfttal Film. The film will be completed by spring 2019, with NFP releasing in Germany after its world premiere.

A number of top technicians are also attached to the project including Romanian DOP Tudor Vladimir Panduru (A Graduation, My Happy Family), costume designer Justyna Stolarz (Gareth Jones) and composer Lesley Barber (Manchester By The Sea).

Read Full Article HERE

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