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Indie Sales Acquires Nordic Coming-Of-Age ‘Psychobitch’ (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY January 21, 2019 | Elsa Keslassy

Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired Martin Lund’s Norwegian coming-of-age drama “Psychobitch” which is headlined by Elli Rhiannon Müller Osbourne (“Utoya: July 22”).

“Psychobitch” marks the first feature film of Martin Lund, who made his debut with “Twigson Ties the Knot,” a local box office hit, and followed up with “The Almost Man,” which won best Film and best actor at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Lund also directed the successful TV series “The Game,” which sold in over 40 countries.

Set in the small city of Gjøvik in Norway, “Psychobitch” follows the turbulent relationship between Frida, a 15 years-old self-chosen class outsider, and Marius, the most perfect boy in class, who are paired up as study buddies.

The film also stars Jonas Tidemann (“The Game”) and Henrik Rafaelsen (“Thelma, The almost Man”).

“‘Psychobitch’ is a very sensitive and topical Nordic coming of age, in the vein of ‘Skam,’ which resonated strongly locally and internationally, and shows perfectly this new world of the ‘Generation Perfect’ happening in Scandinavia where all kids ends up alike,” said Simon Gabriele, Indie Sales’ head of acquisitions. The executive added that the film was a “very inspiring ode to difference.”

The film was produced by Ape&Bjørn, the well-established Scandinavian outfit whose credits include “Wajib,” “Rafiki,” “The Almost Man.”

“Psychobitch” was released in Norway on Jan. 11 and Indie Sales will host a market premiere of the movie at the European Film Market in Berlin next month.

Indie Sales’s current slate includes another coming-of-age film, Geneviève Dulude-De Celles’s “A Colony,” which will be making its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in the generation section.

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Indie Sales Acquires Berlinale-Bound Coming-of-Age Drama ‘A Colony’

VARIETY January 18, 2019 | Elsa Keslassy

Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired the coming-of-age drama “A Colony” which will be making its international premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in the generation section.

“A Colony” marks the feature debut of Geneviève Dulude-De Celles, whose short film “The Cut” won a prize at Sundance in 2014.

Set in Sorel Tracy, a Quebec town, at the end of summer, “A Colony” follows Mylia, a timid 12-year-old who must leave her little sister and native countryside to enter high school. Lost in this new environment, she meets Jacinthe, who introduces her to teenage rituals and absurdities, and Jimmy, a fierce young native from the neighboring reservation whom encourages her to cross boundaries, and ultimately form her personal identity.

“A Colony” previously won six awards in Quebec, including the best film and audience awards at the Quebec City Film. Festival.

Martin Gondre, Indie Sales’ head of marketing and festivals, said “A Colony” was both “universal and moving, while raising the mostly unknown question of the first nations.” The executive added that Emilie Bierre (“Genesis”), who plays Mylia in the film was a “true revelation.”

“A Colony” also stars promising newcomers, Irlande Côté and Jacob Whiteduck-Lavoie. The film was produced by Colonelle Film, who had worked with Dulude-De Celles on her short “The Cut.”

“A Colony” will be released in Quebec on Feb. 1 by Funfilm Distribution.

In the run-up to the Berlin Film Festival, Indie Sales has also acquired “Knocked Up,” the fourth feature from director Sophie Letourneur, and Benjamin Parent’s coming-of-age tale “Little Man.”

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Indie Sales boards French titles 'Knocked Up' and 'Little Man' (exclusive)

SCREEN DAILY January 16, 2019 | Melanie Goodfellow

Paris-based Indie Sales has acquired international rights to both Sophie Letourneur’s comedy Knocked Up and Benjamin Parent’s coming-of-age tale Little Man ahead of the five-day Unifrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris, which kicks-off on Thursday (Jan 17).

Knocked Up (Enorme) stars Marina Foïs as a world-renowned pianist who travels the world with her husband, coach and agent, played by Jonathan Cohen. 

After witnessing the birth of a baby on a transatlantic flight, the husband becomes broody and secretly tampers with his wife’s birth control pills. To her horror, she falls pregnant.

It is the fourth feature from Letourneur after ChicksGaby Baby Doll and Les Coquillettes, which went down well in Locarno in 2013. Memento Films Distribution has picked up French rights for a release in the second half of 2019. 

“It’s a new step in Sophie Letourneur’s career as is aimed at larger audience,” said Nicolas Eschbach, CEO and co-founder of Indie Sales.

The film is produced by Caroline Bonmarchand at Avenue B Productions, as a co-production with Vito Films.

Debut feature

Indie Sales is also kicking off sales on Parent’s debut feature, the Little Man (Un Vrai Bonhomme) about a sensitive teenager as he attempts to make a fresh start in a new high school after being expelled from another institution.

“The script has an amazing twist which makes the film unique,” says Eschbach.

Parent’s previous work includes the short It’s Not A Cowboy Movie which screened in Cannes Critics’ Week 2012 and was nominated for a César in 2013.

The cast features established actress Isabelle Carré (Marie’s Story) alongside rising stars Thomas Guy, who was recently seen in Sébastien Marnier’s School’s Out and Benjamin Voisin, who had small parts in The Happy Prince and Bonne Pomme.

The film is produced by Caroline Adrian for Delante Productions. Ad Vitam will release the film in France later this year.

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‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ Bought by European Distributors, Cohen Media for the U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

VARIETY October 9, 2018 | Elsa Kesslassy

Sameh Zoabi’s “Tel Aviv on Fire,” the critically acclaimed Israeli comedy that world premiered at the Venice Film Festival, has been acquired by Cohen Media for the U.S., along with a flurry of distributors in key territories.

Paris-based sales company Indie Sales has also sold the pic to Italy (Academy Two), Spain (Surtsey Films), Switzerland (Trigon Film), and Greece (Seven Films). Indie Sales is now in final negotiations to close deals for Canada, Benelux, Germany, and Austria.

The politically-charged comedy world premiered at Venice in the Orizzonti section, nabbing the best actor award for Kais Nashif. It went on to play at fests in Toronto and Haifa, where it won best film and screenplay prizes.

Tel Aviv on Fire” reteams actor Kais Nashef and Lubna Azabal (“Incendies”), who co-starred in the foreign-language Oscar-nominated “Paradise Now.”

“Tel Aviv” follows the journey of Salam, a charming 30-year-old Palestinian man living in Jerusalem who works as an intern on a hit 1967-set soap opera produced in Ramallah about a Palestinian female spy who has a love affair with an Israeli general.

Salam’s life takes an wild turn after he meets Assi, who runs the Israeli checkpoints that he has to drive through every day. Assi starts asking Salam to change the show’s storyline to please his wife, who is a big-time fan. Thanks to Assi’s ideas, Salam’s career takes off, but when the show’s financial backers start disagreeing on how the series should end, Salem gets caught in the middle.

The distribution deal was negotiated by John Kochman, the executive vice president of Cohen Media, and Georgia Poivre, the company’s head of acquisitions, as well as Indie Sales co-founder and CEO Nicolas Eschbach.

“‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ is that rare movie — a big-hearted satire about Israeli-Palestinian relations, fueled by cheerful self-mockery from both sides,” said Cohen Media founder and chairman Charles S. Cohen.

Kochman, meanwhile, described Zoabi (“Under the Same Sun”) as “an exciting new voice” and said this film was “a must-see for anyone following Mideast politics or the state of modern world cinema.”

“The market is responding very well to this fresh and smart comedy. It takes hope as its driving force with exciting precepts: laughter can reconcile the irreconcilable,” said Eschbach.

“Tel Aviv” was produced by Samsa Film (“Möbius”), TS Productions (“Incendies”), Lama Films (“Paradise Now”), and Artémis Productions (“I Am Not Your Negro”). United King and Haut & Court will distribute the movie in Israel and France, respectively. The French release is planned for Feb. 27.

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Indie Sales acquires Romanian drama 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' ahead of Warsaw premiere (exclusive)

SCREEN DAILY September 26, 2018 | Melanie Goodfellow

Paris-based Indie Sales has acquired world rights to emerging Romanian filmmakers Gabi Virginia Sarga and Catalin Rotaru’s debut feature Thou Shalt Not Kill, ahead of its premiere at Warsaw Film Festival (Oct 12-21).

The film is inspired by a real-life scandal in Romania about terrible hygiene standards in the country’s hospitals and the use of substandard, diluted disinfectants to clean operating surgeries.

Rising Romanian actor Alexandru Suciu stars as a young surgeon who starts a solitary fight against a corrupted system after the sudden and suspicious death of one of his patients. Other cast members include Cristina Flutur, who shared the best actress prize at Cannes in 2012 alongside her co-star Cosmina Stratan in Cristian Mungiu’s Beyond The Hills.

Directorial duo Sarga and Rotaru’s short film 4.15 PM The End of the World – about a courier who has a life-changing encounter with a hitchhiker who announces the end of the world  – premiered in the short film competition at Cannes in 2016. 

Thou Shalt Not Kill is competing in Warsaw’s 1-2 Competition, aimed at first and second features by directors from all over the world. 

“We grew up in communism,” said Sarga and Rotaru. ”In those times, we were always told not to speak up. I thought this has changed by now. But in 2018 we hear the same thing: shut up, it’s not your problem, let others fix it. Our film tells the story of a doctor who cares, who gets involved and who has the courage to say out loud that the system is corrupt.”

The film is produced by Adina Sădeanu at Bucharest-based Axis Media Production and co-produced by Sarga and Rotaru’s Green Cat Film.

Thou Shalt Not Kill was funded with the support of the Romanian Film Fund, the National Television of Romania and Zenith Media and was shot in just 21 days in Bucharest in November 2017.

Simon Gabriele, Indie Sales head of acquisitions, said: “We are delighted to work with Catalin and Gabi. The film is a very strong and universal statement about corruption and modern heroism. We follow the moral fight of a surgeon who won’t let the system win.”

Romanian distribution is handled by Idea Film Distribution which will release it in early 2019.

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