International growth will be on everyone’s minds when journalists, sales agents and acquisitions from key regions take to UniFrance’s Rendez-vous in Paris, which runs January 10-17. If Gaelic exports did not reach pre-pandemic heights in 2022 – the first year, we should note, that many theatrical markets operated without disruption – the local industry was hanging on at the same time.
At home and abroad, franchises and good fares have returned to theatres. Comedy “Serial (Bad) Weddings 3” drew 2.4 million domestic admissions, finishing as France’s top-grossing domestic title and selling an additional 1.3 million tickets in neighboring countries, while StudioCanal family title “The Wolf and the Lion” opened in more than 50 territories. .
In the US, arthouse stalwarts Kino Lorber, Cohen Media Group and Sony Pictures Classics pulled gems from the festival slate, with Kino Lorber set to open Pietro Marcello’s directorial Fortnite opener “Scarlett” and Sony Pictures Classics for the Cannes-acclaimed, Mia Hansen release. -Love directed “One Fine Morning” in the coming months.
Meanwhile, a boutique label run by super-hip distributor Neon — picked up France’s international Oscar submission “Saint Omer” shortly after the film won the Silver Lion in Venice and will release the Alice Diop-directed title on January 13 — just in time for the heart of Oscar nomination voting.
“The ongoing evolution of the market requires constant vigilance,” said Charlotte Baucon, head of sales at Orange Studios, which has deals for both “Serial (Bad) Weddings 3” and “Scarlett,” among others.
“French family films continue to be widely recognized and do relatively well around the world, and at Orange Studios, we want to see at least one strong theatrical player every year. Obviously, we’re happy to have more, but films like this need a lot of support, especially in terms of international distribution. .
Calling such fare “part of Orange Studios’ DNA,” the sales executive believes crowd-pleasing comedies can leave a substantial global footprint. “Internationally, there’s always an appetite for high-concept,” Bocon continues. “And it remains a genre capable of launching franchises.”
Orange Studios will launch family adventure “A Cat’s Life” at this year’s Unifrance Rendez-Vous, joining a flock of Gallic outfits that use the annual showcase to flex more commercial muscle.
“[The Rendez-Vous] “We don’t compete with Berlin, Cannes or Venice and that’s not our goal,” said Daniela Elstner, managing director of UniFrance. “We’re a market where films don’t necessarily go to that festival, but those that do well in theaters and sell very well.”
Still, as the Rendez-Vous marks its 25th year and stands to welcome a larger private delegation than the previous two editions — this year’s showcase carries a greater art weight — the event will signal such gravitas as François Ozon’s “The Crime Is World Premiere of My”.
“For the past few years, we’ve been asked to open with a huge premiere,” Elstner said. “We will welcome buyers from all over the world, and we want them to leave the screening knowing the promise of French cinema, as well as those who attend.”
“Crime,” set in 1930s Paris, led by rising stars Rebecca Marder and Nadia Tereskiewicz and supported by Isabelle Huppert and Danny Boone, involves a film producer and murder, and recalls the glitzy heights of Ozone’s “8 Women.” and “Potiche.” “The Crime is Mine” could very well set the international record set by last year’s opener “Simone: A Woman of the Century,” which scored more than 2 million admissions in France and was sold stateside by Samuel Goldwyn Films.
“We want to show films that bind and connect,” says Elstner. “François Ozon’s films are known for their success and box office performance, which fits our mission. We have to satisfy our customers, so that they can imagine for themselves how wonderful French cinema can be.”