Music Box Films has picked up US rights to Rebecca Zlotowski’s “Other People’s Children,” an affecting drama starring Virginie Efira (“Benedetta”). The movie premiered in competition at World Venice and will make its U.S. debut later this month in the Spotlight section of Sundance.
Also starring Roshdi Gem and Chiara Mastroianni, “Other People’s Children” played in the Special Presentations section in Toronto. Music Box Films will release the French movie in theaters and home entertainment platforms in spring 2023.
Efira, one of France’s leading actors, delivers a powerful performance as Rachel, a dedicated high school teacher. She falls in love with Ali (Roshdy Gem), and also with his 4-year-old daughter Leela. Although she feels like a mother, Rachel is not allowed to forget that Leela is another woman’s daughter. She begins to long for a child of her own, but as a 40-something woman, she is acutely aware that she has limited time to start a family. Rachel ponders whether to embrace the complications inherent in her current situation, including the presence of Ali’s ex-wife Alice (Chiara Mastroianni), or strike out again on her own.
Efira, who attended last year’s Cannes Film Festival, will receive the French Cinema Award during the Unifrance Rendez-Vous, a week-long exhibition of French films. The honorary award will pay tribute to the local and international success of Efira, who was born in Belgium but has become one of France’s most popular and bankable actors.
“Other People’s Children” will have its Sundance premiere Jan. 20, followed by a Q&A with Zlotowski and producer Frédéric Juve.
The critically acclaimed film is Zlotowski’s fifth feature and his debut at Sundance. Her previous credits include “An Easy Girl” and “Planetarium”.
of diversity Guy Lodge wrote in his review that the film was a “smart, humane tale of second-degree parenting”, and a “bittersweet and beautifully observed study” of “a child-free woman’s growing attachment to her lover’s daughter”. Lodge added that it was Zlotowski’s best film to date.
“Rebecca’s compassionate new film is a subtle exploration of the complex emotional bonds that adults and their romantic partners can form between children,” said Brian Andreotti of Music Box Films “We’ve been admirers of her work for some time, And we’re sure his latest will find a receptive audience in the U.S. that will inspire the film as much as we do,” Andretti continued.
Juve, who produced “Other People’s Children” through his banner Les Films Velvet, described Zlotowski as “a prominent contemporary director in France.”
“‘Other People’s Children’ tops France’s arthouse box office and stands as an award contender for French and foreign journalists,” Juve continued. He added that Zlotowski’s latest feature “brought the Venice Film Festival to tears and was a critical and public success.”
Music Box Films previously worked with Efira on the 2020 release of Justin Triet’s “Sybil.” The company recently acquired Alice Winocore’s “Revoir Paris,” another well-reviewed play starring Efira.
Brian Andreotti of Music Box Films, CAA Media Finance and Eva Diederix of Wild Bunch International negotiated the deal.