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Indie Sales Boards Sameh Zoabi’s Comedy ‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ with ‘Paradise Now’ Duo (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY September 02th, 2017  | Elsa Keslassy

VENICE, Italy —  Sameh Zoabi is set to direct “Tel Aviv on Fire,” a high-concept comedy starring Kais Nashef and Lubna Azabal, who both starred in the Oscar-nominated Palestinian film “Paradise Now.”

Indie Sales has acquired the film. The Paris-based sales outfit is at the Venice Film Festival with a slate that includes Ziad Doueiri’s Lebanon-set drama “The Insult,” which world-premiered in competition on the Lido.

Zoabi, who is Arab-Israeli, graduated from Columbia University and won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinefondation with his 2005 student short, “Be Quiet.” His feature debut, “Man Without a Cell Phone,” played at the Jerusalem Film Festival. He also directed the TV movie “Under the Same Sun” which is set in a near future where peace between Israel and Palestine has been made. Zoabi also collaborated with Hany Abu-Assad on the screenplay of “The Idol.”

“Tel Aviv on Fire,” set in contemporary Israel, revolves around Salam, a 30-year-old Palestinian living in Jerusalem who works as an intern on a hugely popular TV soap called “Tel Aviv on Fire,” which is about an illicit love affair between a Palestinian female spy and an Israeli general in 1967. Every day, Salam must pass through the Israeli checkpoints to reach the television studios. One day, he meets the checkpoint chief, Assi, who starts asking him to change the show’s storyline in order to please his wife, who is a huge fan of the series.

“‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ deals with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with an original treatment, some humor and appealing characters,” said Indie Sales CEO and co-founder 
Nicolas Eschbach.

The film is produced by TS Prods., a French banner whose credits include Martin Provost’s “Seraphine” and Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies,” and Samsa Film (“Möbius”), Lama Films, the Israeli outfit behind “Paradise Now” (pictured) and “Jellyfish,” and Belgium’s Artémis Prods. (“I Am Not Your Negro”).

“Tel Aviv on Fire” will start shooting on Sept. 12 for an expected delivery during the first quarter of 2018. Happiness Distribution will release the film in France.

Read full article HERE

Indie Sales launches sales on Masset-Depasse's 'Mothers' Instinct' (EXCLUSIVE)

SCREENDAILY September 04th, 2017  |  by Melanie Goodfellow 

Paris-based sales company Indie Sales has added Belgian director Olivier Masset-Depasse’s upcoming psychological thriller Mothers’ Instinct (Duelles) to its Toronto slate.

Set in a well-heeled suburb in Belgium in the early 1960s, the film is based on Belgian writer Barbara Abel’s novel Derriere La Haine, which translates as ‘behind the hatred’.

Veerle Baetens and Anne Coesens co-star as next-door neighbours Alice and Celine whose fusional relationship is cemented by the friendship of their two young sons. The first image of Baetens in the film is above.

This relationship turns destructive when Celine’s son dies in a tragic accident. Celine blames Alice for the death. Alice, the character of The Broken Circle Breakdown star Baetens, becomes convinced Celine wants to harm her son.

A cat and mouse psychological battle is set in motion but it is not clear who is the real threat.

The film is produced by Jacques-Henri Bronckart at Belgian company Versus Production andCarole Scotta at Paris-based Haut et Court which is also distributing in France. Brussels-based distributor O’Brother has acquired Benelux rights.

Masset-Depasse has taken inspiration from the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Douglas Sirk as well as the TV show Mad Men for the film’s 1960s aesthetic.

“The team fell in love with the dark tone of this surprising script as well as the 60’s aesthetic reminiscent of the Mad Men atmosphere,” said Indie Sales CEO and co-founder Nicolas Eschbach.

Masset-Depasse is best known internationally for his 2010 feature Illegal, starring Coesens as a Russian woman living as an illegal immigrant in Belgium. After completing Mothers’ Instinct, he is set to direct the third film in the Largo Winch franchise.

Mothers’ Instinct is currently in post-production for delivery in the first half of 2018.

Other titles on Indie Sales’s Toronto slate include Ziad Doueiri’s The Insult and Arrhythmia, which both screen in the Contemporary World Cinema section, The Price of Success, which will play as a special presentation, and upcoming Russian sci-fi release Salyut-7, which will screen in the market.

Read full article HERE

The Insult spearheads Indie Sales’ slate

CINEUROPA August 28th, 2017  |  by Fabien Lemercier

Ziad Doueiri’s film is in the running for the Golden Lion at Venice and has also been selected for Toronto, where The Price of Success will also unspool

For the second time in its relatively short history (having been founded in May 2013), French international sales agent Indie Sales can boast about having a hopeful for the Golden Lion on its line-up. After Rabin, The Last Day [+] in 2015, this time it will be the French-Lebanese co-production The Insult [+]’s turn to take its place among the competitors at the 74th Venice Film Festival, which kicks off this Wednesday. The new film by Ziad Doueiri, the director of West Beirut (Directors’ Fortnight in 1998), Lila Says (in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005) and The Attack [+] (Special Mention at San Sebastián in 2012), will have its world premiere on the Lido on Thursday 31 August, before heading to the 42nd Toronto Film Festival (7-17 September), where it will unspool in the Contemporary World Cinema section. Executive-produced by French outfits Tessalit Productions (Jean Bréhat and Rachid Bouchareb) and Rouge International (Julie Gayetand Nadia Turincev), The Insult was co-produced by Belgian firm Scope Pictures, Lebanon’s Douri Film, and US companies Ezekiel Film Limited and Cohen Media Group. It will be distributed in France by Diaphana

At Toronto, Indie Sales will also be pinning its hopes on The Price of Success [+] by Teddy Lussi-Modeste, which will have its international premiere in the Special Presentations programme. Starring such names as Tahar RahimRoschdy Zem and Maïwenn, the feature, produced by Jean-Christophe Reymond for Kazak Production, will be released in French theatres on Wednesday 30 August by Ad Vitam and will also be showcased at the 65th San Sebastián Film Festival (22-30 September) in the competitive New Directors section.

At Toronto, the team managed by Nicolas Eschbach (with help from Clémentine Hugot) will also continue selling Arrhythmia [+] by Boris Khlebnikov, which was revealed in competition at Karlovy Vary, winning the Best Actor Award to boot. The film, a production between Russia, Finland and Germany, will be screened in Canada, in Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section.

Indie Sales will also be organising a market screening for Kim Shupenko’s Salyut-7 at Toronto; the movie is slated for release on 12 October and looks set to be the biggest smash of the year in Russia.

Also featuring on the line-up are the French films Let the Girls Play by Julien Hallard (formerly Les filles de Reims – see the article – set to be distributed in France by Mars Films) and When Margaux Meets Margaux by Sophie Fillières (see the article – starring Sandrine KiberlainAgathe Bonitzer and Melvil Poupaud – French distribution by Memento Films), both in post-production; the animated title Another Day of Life by Raúl de La Fuente (due to be completed in the first half of 2018 – co-produced by Poland, Spain, Benelux, Germany and Hungary; the movie delves into Angola in 1975, on the trail of great Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski); and One Step Behind the Seraphim by Daniel Sandu (see the article), which will be out in Romanian theatres on 22 September. And that’s not to mention Nicolas Silhol’s Corporate [+] – which grossed €1.6 million in French cinemas in the spring before going on to take part in the Karlovy Vary competition – among other completed films.

Read full article HERE

Indie Sales Boards Topical Animated Documentary ‘Zero Impunity’ (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY 9th June, 2017 | By Elsa Keslassy

Indie Sales Boards Topical Animated Documentary ‘Zero Impunity’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Paris-based company Indie Sales (“My Life as a Zucchini”) has come on board “Zero Impunity,” an ambitious animated documentary film which is part of a transmedia project combining investigative journalism and activism aimed at combatting sexual violence in armed conflicts.

Based on six in-depth investigations spearheaded by 11 female journalists, the documentary weaves animated sequences chronicling stories of sexual violence in times of war across the world, notably in Ukraine and Syria, with live action segments featuring survivors, whistle-blowers and psychologists.

“Zero Impunity” marks the feature debut of transmedia experts Nicolas Blies, Stéphane Hueber-Blies (“Soundhunters”) and 2D animation supervisor/storyboard artist Denis Lambert.

Melusine Productions, a leading European studio whose credits include “The Breadwinner,” “Ernest & Celestine” and “The Congress,” is creating the animation which promises to showcase an artful hand-drawn look. On top of directing, Blies and Hueber-Blies are also producing with Marion Guth via their Luxembourg-based banner a_BAHN, whose credits include the interactive music docu “Soundhunters” made for Arte.

Having previously nabbed two awards at the Biaritz-based FIPA festival, “Zero Impunity” will be pitched next week in Annecy as part of the work-in-progress program, ahead of its theatrical release in France during the first half of 2018.

Eleanor Coleman, head of animation and new media acquisitions at Indie Sales, described “Zero Impunity” as “a native transmedia project with a universal theme and a feature film at its heart.”

“We had been looking for a global new media project to get involved with for some time and we instantly understood that it was a perfect match with a_BAHN, sharing the same desire to support women around the world and make a difference,” said Coleman, who added that she’s now looking forward to collaborating with a_BAHN on further transmedia films and VR content.

Blies said “Zero Impunity” aimed to “generate empathy within the audience so that people will mobilize and commit to lobbying for action. For now, our governments and our international institutions are incapable of punishing these crimes. The liberation of the voices happens here and now.”

Hueber-Blies, meanwhile, explained that “animation has a very strong impact by showing violent situations without offending the audience in a way that live action can’t achieve, while the feature’s narration will be built around live testimonies of the victim or key protagonists.”

A multi-pronged initiative,”Zero Impunity” boasts editorial, interactive and activist components which will be described in a book that will be released in France during the last quarter of this year.

Since January, the six investigative reports have been published on high-profile publications across Europe: Mediapart in France, Internazionale in Italy and InfoLibre in Spain. So far, the reports have been read by an estimated 900.000 people and have enrolled 332.000 citizens who signed petitions asking for specific measures, such as the creation of an educational program raising awareness about sexual violence in French military schools.

The United Nations will then be hosting the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict in Paris on June 19.

Those who signed the petitions will have the opportunity to participate in the march in real time by creating their own avatar. Similar initiatives will be staged outside France around the release of “Zero Impunity.”

Martin Gondre, festivals and marketing manager at Indie Sales, praised a_BAHN and Marion Guth, a “feminist and engaged producer” for developing such an ambitious initiative.

“The idea is to allow international festivals and distributors to offer a different, engaged global experience to their audiences by distributing a one stop tailor-made ‘transmedia package’ together with the film, including the possibility of screening the 3D live march, boarding an exposition around the investigations and sharing live short videos on social media with extended content easily adapted for festivals and international distributors,” explained Gondre.

Camera Talk (“Soundhunters”) and Webspider are co-producing “Zero Impunity.” Film Fund Luxembourg and the French National Film Board CNC are also backing the project.

Read full article HERE

Indie Sales boards Boris Khlebnikov's 'Arrhythmia'

SCREENDAILY 22nd May, 2017 | By Melanie Goodfellow

EXCLUSIVE: French outfit is collaborating with Russia’s CTB on the title.

Indie Sales has acquired Russian director Boris Khlebnikov’s relationship drama Arrhythmia in a mid-market addition to its Cannes sales slate.

It is Khlebnikov’s sixth feature after the High Noon-inspired A Long And Happy Life, about a remote farming community fighting the compulsory purchase of its land, which premiered in competition at the Berlinale in 2013.

His new feature revolves around a couple whose busy lives at an accident and emergency department threaten to tear them apart unless they can find a binding force to keep them together.

The sales acquisition marks a second collaboration between Paris-based Indie Sales and the Moscow-based CTB Film Company, which is one of the main producers on the film.

“We are delighted to team-up with CTB Film Company again after the space exploration picture SALYUT-7 that we are currently showing at the market,” Indie Sales CEO and co-founder Nicolas Eschbach said.

“The film builds an accurate image of a strong couple and offers an immersion into contemporary Russia and its health care system.”

Other producer credits alongside the CTB Film Company include compatriot outfit Mars Media Entertainment, Germany’s Color of May, and Finnish partners Don Films and Post Control.

Arrhythmia is currently in post-production and will be released by PROvzglyad in Russia on September 28 on more than 150 copies.

Read full article HERE

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