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Indie Sales Acquires Atiq Rahimi’s ‘Our Lady of the Nile’ (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY February 6, 2019 | Elsa Keslassy

Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired Atiq Rahimi’s “Our Lady of the Nile” (“Notre-Dame du Nil”), the Kabul-born novelist-turned-director’s follow up to the “The Patience Stone.”

“Our Lady of the Nile” is adapted for the screen by Rahimi and Ramata Sy from the award-winning novel by Scholastique Mukasonga and unfolds in Rwanda in 1973.

Pic takes place at a prestigious and secluded Catholic boarding school, where the girls, an ethnic mix of majority Hutus and only 10% Tutsis, are groomed to be the Rwandan elite. But some deep-seated antagonism between the groups begins to arise at the school as well as throughout the country.

Now in post, “Our Lady of the Nile” is produced by Dimitri Rassam at Chapter 2 (“Le Brio,” “Paradise Lost”) and Les Films du Tambour (“Sibel”).

Nicolas Eschbach, Indie Sales’ co-founder, said the “script depicts in a very vibrant and heartbreaking way the birth of the dramatic events that occurred between Hutus and Tutsis 21 years later.”

Rahimi’s film “The Patience Stone” premiered at Toronto in 2012 and traveled to major territories, including in the U.S. where it was handled by Sony Pictures Classics. Rahimi made his feature debut with “Earth and Ashes,” which won the Un Certain Regard prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.

“Our Lady of the Nile” stars Rwandan newcomers Malaika Uwamahoro and Albina Kirenga, and French actor Pascal Greggory. Key crew includes the cinematographer Thierry Arbogast (“Lucy”) and editor Hervé de Luze (“The Pianist”).

“Our Lady of the Nile” is co-produced by Swoon Prods., France 2 Cinéma and Belga Prods. The film is expected to be delivered in the spring and will be released in France by Bac Films.

Indie Sales will introduce the film to buyers at the European Film Market with a promo reel.

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