email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

PRODUCTION France

SBS reaches for the stars with Synonyms

by 

- Now that Nadav Lapid’s film has snagged the Golden Bear at Berlin, the French production outfit has successfully transformed its high-end editorial policy into a top-notch trophy

SBS reaches for the stars with Synonyms
Director Nadav Lapid and producer Saïd Ben Saïd with their Golden Bear for Synonyms (© Ali Ghandtschi/Berlinale)

Since it was founded in 2010, SBS Productions has been stamping its seal of quality and ambition on the international film production landscape. It specialises in "simultaneously demanding and accessible" arthouse films, ranging from Maps to the Stars [+see also:
trailer
making of
film profile
]
by David Cronenberg to Elle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Paul Verhoeven, via Aquarius [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Kleber Mendonça Filho, Carnage [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Roman Polanski and Passion [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
by Brian de Palma, as well as three Philippe Garrel films (Jealousy [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, In the Shadow of Women [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Lover for a Day [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
).

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Selected countless times in the showcases of the major festivals, the Paris-based company managed by Saïd Ben Saïd (who is supported in his production duties by Switzerland’s Michel Merkt), which has branched out into the sectors of international sales and French distribution, had up until Saturday night never clutched the Holy Grail of a victory at one of the biggest international rendezvous of the seventh art. That particular mission has now been accomplished with the Golden Bear won at the 69th Berlinale by Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nadav Lapid
film profile
]
. A majority French (60%) production, the feature, which was shot in Paris with names such as Quentin Dolmaire and Louise Chevillotte among the cast, was executive-produced by Saïd Ben Saïd and Michel Merkt for SBS Productions, and was co-produced by Arte France Cinéma, Germany’s Komplizen Film (Janine Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach and Maren Ade) and Israel’s Pie Films (Osnat Handelsman Keren and Talia Kleinhendler), with the support of the CNC, via World Cinema Support. SBS will handle the French distribution from 27 March onwards (with programming in theatres subcontracted to Paname Distribution) and is also in charge of the international sales.

SBS currently has a number of titles in post-production – namely, Nighthawk by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles (starring Barbara Colen, Sonia Braga and Udo Kier; co-produced by Arte France Cinéma and Brazilian outfits CinemaScópio and Globo Filmes), Frankie by US helmer Ira Sachs (starring Isabelle Huppert, Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei, Jérémie Renier, Pascal Greggory, Ariyon Bakare, Vinette Robinson and Greg Kinnear; co-produced by Portugal’s O Som e a Fúria and Belgium’s Beluga Tree – set to be released in France on 15 September 2019) and Spellbound by France’s Pascal Bonitzer (see the article – toplined by Sara Giraudeau and Nicolas Duvauchelle; also co-produced by Belgium’s Beluga Tree). SBS will also be distributing these three movies in France and selling them overseas, unlike Blessed Virgin by Paul Verhoeven (see the article; starring Virginie Efira, Daphné Patakia, Charlotte Rampling and Lambert Wilson, among others), which SBS is producing and which is also in post-production, but whose French distribution and international sales have been entrusted to Pathé Films for a postponed delivery date of 2020, following some minor health issues that have afflicted the Dutch director, who fully intends to supervise the edit himself.

(Translated from French)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.