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Indie Sales Boards Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s ‘Gangsta’ (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY October 24th, 2017  | Elsa Keslassy

Paris-based Indie Sales has boarded Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s high-voltage action thriller “Gangsta” in the run up to the AFM.

“Gangsta” marks El Arbi and Fallah’s third film. The up-and-coming Belgian director duo, known as Adil & Bilall, previously directed “Image” and “Black” which won Toronto’s Discovery Award in 2015. Adil and Bilall also helmed the TV series “Snowfall” for FX Networks. The pair is currently rumored to be on track to direct “Beverly Hills Cop 4” with Eddy Murphy.

The critically acclaimed pic “Black” established the filmmakers’ reputation within the international scene. Variety’s Peter Debruge described the film as a “powerhouse street romance” and “the first of its kind in Belgian cinema.”

Set in contemporary Belgium, “Gangsta” is a minority-driven thriller following four drug dealer friends who are fan of “Scarface” and aspire to become real-life swaggers and organized crime legends. Their lives spin out of control when they steal a shipment of cocaine, triggering a full-on war with an Amsterdam drug lord and the ruthless Colombian cartels. The film has a stylish, urban visual style in line with the duo’s previous work.

“Adil and Bilall certainly are among Europe’s most promising talents. Their cinema is refreshing, fun, and built up for the audience. The team is very excited to handle the film!” said Nicolas Eschbach, Indie Sales CEO and co-founder.

The film is produced by A Team Productions, the regular producers of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s, Column Film And Nabil Ben Yadir’s 10.80 Films.

“Gangsta” is currently in post-production and is set for an early 2018 premiere. Kinepolis Film distribution will release the film in Benelux on Jan. 24.

Indie Sales will be introducing the project to buyers at the AFM with a teaser which Variety is exclusively sneak premiering:

Full article HERE

Venice: France’s Indie Sales to Sell ‘The First King’ by Italy’s Matteo Rovere (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY September 02th, 2017  | Nick Vivarelli

VENICE, Italy — Paris-based Indie Sales has taken sales outside Italy on “The First King” (Il Primo Re), a bold swords-and-sandals epic of sorts about the origins of Rome to be directed by Italian helmer Matteo Rovere (“Italian Race”).

Shooting is set to start Sept. 8 in Italy’s Lazio region surrounding the Eternal City on this conceptually ambitious pic, which will largely feature Latin dialogue.

It’s the story of twin brothers Romulus and Remus and their creation of Rome after they were placed in a basket and left on the bank of the river Tiber as babies and fed by a she-wolf. According to promotional materials they are forced to face the tragic dilemma of either sacrificing what they most love in the world, or fighting against the inescapable will of the Gods. Their tale of sacrilege and prophecy is doomed by the awareness that the future of the biggest empire in the world is founded on their brotherhood conflict.

Toplining the cast of “King,” which is budgeted at 7.5 million euros ($9 million) is Alessandro Borghi, who stars Netflix’s first Italian original, “Suburra,” which launched Saturday from the Lido at the Venice Film Festival. Borghi is also the master of ceremonies at Venice this year. Other key cast members include Alessio Lapice, who stars in “Nato a Casal di Principe,” which is playing in Venice’s Cinema in the Garden section, and Belgium-based Italian actor Fabrizio Rongione (“Two Days, One Night”).

Rovere, who is also a producer, made a splash at the Italian box office in 2016 with “Italian Race,” set in the rally racing world. He is a co-producer of smash Italian hit “I Can Quit Whenever I Want,” about a group of unemployed academics who go into the recreational drug trade.

Rovere’s Ascent Film and Groenlandia, a shingle run by Andrea Paris, are co-producing with Rai Cinema, whose 01 Distribuzione arm will release the film in Italy.

The pic is also being co-produced with Belgium’s GapBusters outfit, which is a conduit for European and Canadian producers looking for Belgian tax-shelter funds for projects with high commercial potential. Most of the special effects will be done in Belgium.

Full article HERE

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

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