Amazon Prime Video wagers on Ballsy Girl
- Originally scheduled for cinema release in March, Katia Lewkowicz’s film will go straight to SVOD on 15 April, marking the American platform’s first purchase of a French film
Causing great upheaval in all domains, not to mention rapid adaptation of our lifestyles, the health crisis with its resulting nationwide lockdowns and cinema closures has also opened up a new way for video on demand platforms (read our interview with Bruno Delecour from Filmo TV). And whilst Netflix might have seemed to be the big winner of the current situation in France (the platform claimed to have 6.7 million subscribers here at the beginning of the year), where Disney+ only just landed yesterday, 7 April, Amazon Prime Video has itself pulled an impressive media stunt by announcing the purchase of its first French film, Ballsy Girl [+see also:
film profile] by Katia Lewkowicz, which was supposed to be released in cinemas on 18 March, but which will now drop on the French version of the platform on 15 April, in premium form, before Amazon launches it in over 200 countries and territories later in the year.
Although the exact number of French subscribers to Amazon Prime Video is unclear owing to the video streaming service’s inclusion within the Prime programme (alongside speedy delivery, Prime Music and Prime Reading), the CNC believes it to be the second most popular on demand video platform in France (boasting 21.4% of users in October 2019, versus 65.5% for Netflix) and emphasises the clear upward trajectory the company is enjoying (Amazon Prime Video only occupied 6th position in October 2018).
The decision to sell Ballsy Girl to Amazon Prime Video for direct SVOD release – a decision made by the film’s producer (Parisian firm Quad, Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s primary partner on all their films) in league with TF1 Studio (co-producer, French distribution rights holder and international sales agent for the movie) - no doubt involved compensation for all the other co-producing partners (France 2 Cinéma, La Compagnie Cinématographique, Belgium’s Panache Productions) and other distributors involved in the film’s pre-purchase (Canal+, Ciné+, TMC).
Ballsy Girl is Katia Lewkowicz’s third feature film after Bachelor Days Are Over [+see also:
interview: Katia Lewkowicz
film profile] (discovered in Cannes’ Critics’ Week 2011) and French Dolls [+see also:
film profile] (2014). Starring in the cast are Melha Bedia (seen on the big screen in Tout Schuss, among other works), Valérie Lemercier (whom we’ll be seeing in Aline this November) and Alison Wheeler (Going to Brazil [+see also:
film profile]), flanked by Bastien Ughetto, Nanou Garcia, Jonathan Cohen, Ramzy Bedia, Oussama Kheddam and Yasin Houicha. Written by Melha Bedia and Frédéric Hazan (who are both also credited for the film’s adaptation and dialogue, in league with the director and Anthony Marciano), the story revolves around the idea that the most important thing in life is to be yourself. But for Nour, who’s 20 kilos overweight and sports a hat in place of a decent haircut, it’s not quite so simple! She doesn’t seem to be an option for any of the boys… Determined to turn heads, she comes up with a fool-proof solution: pole dancing. With the help of a rather special teacher and her two best friends - who are just as clueless as she is - Nour’s main focus will be to learn to accept herself…
(Translated from French)
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