French sales companies on the crest of a wave
by Fabien Lemercier
15/02/2006 - As the European Film Market (EFM) draws to a close, at its new location in Martin-Gropius-Bau, French international sales companies have already been confirmed as the principal beneficiaries at the Berlin event, reinforcing a tendency that becomes more emphatic from market to market: in just a few years, Europe’s sales engine has moved from London to Paris. In first position is Celluloïd Dreams, which created a frenzy with their German competition film The Elementary Particles [trailer, film focus] by Oskar Roehler, sold to over 25 territories, including the UK (Momentum) Italy (Lucky Red) and France (TFM). Excellent deals were also made by the company headed by Hengameh Panahi with Quinceanera (screened in the Kinderfilmfest/14plus section) by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, which was picked up for Italy (Teodora Film), Spain (Golem) and France (Memento ).
Meanwhile, Wild Bunch also shone, thanks to the diversity of its line-up, selling, among others, Pan's Labyrinth by Guillermo Del Toro and the documentary Maradona [trailer] by Emir Kusturica to the UK’s Optimum , as well as Patrice Leconte’s upcoming film (Mon meilleur ami with Daniel Auteuil) to Spain’s DeAPlaneta. Gaumont was also busy, most notably with The Science of Sleep [trailer] by Michel Gondry, which was picked up by Alta Films (Spain) and Mikado (Italy), although another solid performer was Je vous trouve très beau [trailer] by Isabelle Mergault, which they sold to Momentum (UK) and On Pictures (Spain). Cineuropa will follow up on these excellent results in detail when the French sales companies return from Berlin.
The French group also includes Bac Films - which sold their documentary La Planète Blanche by Thierry Ragobert and Piantanida to the UK (Optimum Releasing) - and Films Distribution, which made numerous deals, including Retour en Normandie [trailer], the new film by Nicolas Philibert, which seduced Italy’s BIM Distribuzione and also found buyers for Japan and Canada. The surprise French box office success of the autumn, Je ne suis pas là pour être aimé by Stéphane Brizé, also made an impact internationally, as sales company Rezo Films concluded negotiations with the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and Japan.
(Translated from French)