IFC Films and Film Nation have won a bidding battle called “Happening” for distribution rights in the United States, a French drama that won top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
IFC Films plans to release the movie in early 2022, but the company has not yet set an exact date.
“Happening” is a remarkable feature of French director Audrey Diwan. Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Anne Arnox, the film takes place in France in the 1960s and centers on a promising young student who becomes pregnant at a time when abortion is not legal in the country. The movie’s official logline reads: “Ann is a bright young student with a promising future ahead of her. But when she gets pregnant, she sees an opportunity to finish her studies and the limitations of her social background disappear. Her final test is fast approaching and her stomach is growing, Ann decides to work for her, even if she has to face shame and pain, even if she has to take the risk of jail for doing it.
Inside Of diversity In review, film critic Guy Lodge praised “Happening” and called it timely, powerful and “quietly destructive.”
He writes, “The feature of Audrey Diwan’s quietly destructive sofomo is that it’s hard to work openly on the subject of abortion access, the latest in a running series of emotionally intelligent art films.”
After a warm reception in Venice, “Happening” is set to be the main contender for entry into the official Oscars of France for the best international film. “Happening” is produced by Rectangle Producer -Duard Weil and co-produced by Shrab Films.
Ariana Boko, president of IFC Films, said in a statement: “Audrey has created an award-winning film that confronts the choices that women have to make, achieving something incredibly rare and fruitful in its powerful portrayal of humanity.” “We look forward to working with Audrey, Glenn and the entire filmmaking team to bring this film to the largest audience in the United States.”
Glenn Basner, CEO of Filmnation Entertainment, added, “Audrey’s stunning and powerful film could not have been more timely and we are thrilled to collaborate with Ariana and her team at IFC Films to bring this emotional cinematic experience to US audiences.”
Dewan called the partnership between IFC Films and Film Nation “extremely exciting.”
“Through the lens of IFC Films and Filmnation, I realized what ‘Happening’ could represent to audiences in the United States. I feel incredibly supported by this alliance, whose general goal is to take this story to new heights and conquer my artistic vision.” The Diwan said. “Both Ariana Boko and Glenn Basner have long been supportive of compelling and important films, which assures me that this partnership will be a very exciting one as we embark on a journey together.”
On behalf of the filmmakers, Boko negotiated the film’s deal with CAA Media Finance and Wild Bunch. Wild Bunch International is conducting international sales.