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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

Indie Sales prepares for the future

CINEUROPA May 12th, 2017  |  by Fabien Lemercier

Sales will kick off at Cannes for When Margaux Meets Margaux, two attractive market premieres and a very full range of titles currently in post-production

11 very different titles feature in the line-up of French international sales company Indie Sales for the Film Market of the 70th Cannes Film Festival (being held from 17 to 28 May). The team led by Nicolas Eschbach (with the support of Clémentine Hugot) will notably kick off sales on the Croisette for When Margaux Meets Margaux) by Sophie Fillières (see article – currently in post-production – starring Sandrine KiberlainAgathe Bonitzer and Melvil Poupaud).

Two titles will premiere at the market in screenings reserved for buyers, in particular French film Let The Girls Play (Comme des garçons) by Julien Hallard (see article), the plot of which revolves around the birth in 1969, at the initiative of a sports journalist, of the first female football team in France.

The second market premiere on the cards is Salyut- 7 by Kim Shipenko, the release of which next October will be the biggest of the year in Russia. The film is based on events that took place in 1985 when the Salyut- 7 space station stopped responding to messages sent from Earth and a team was sent on what turned into the most complicated technical mission in the history of space navigation. 

Indie Sales will also be continuing with pre-sales for a number of films currently in post-production, such as French-Lebanese co-production The Insult by Ziad Doueiri (see article), animated film Another Day of Life by Raúl de La Fuente (co-produced by Poland, Spain, the Benelux countries, Germany and Hungary; with a plot that plunges us into Angola in 1975 to follow great Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski). Then there’s The Price of Success (Le prix du succès) by Teddy Lussi-Modeste (see article – starring Tahar RahimRoschdy Zem and Maïwenn), and One Step Behind the Seraphim by Romanian director Daniel Sandu (see article). Also worth mentioning in the line-up of finished films is Corporate [+], the debut feature by Nicolas Silhol which is currently doing very well in French theatres with €1.4 million in receipts in four weeks.

Read full article HERE

Indie Sales boards Sandrine Kiberlain-starrer 'When Margaux Meets Margaux'

SCREENDAILY May 10th, 2017  |  by Melanie Goodfellow

Indie Sales boards Sandrine Kiberlain-starrer 'When Margaux Meets Margaux'

Kiberlain will be in Cannes this year as president of the Caméra d’Or jury for first films.

Indie Sales has boarded French film-maker Sophie Fillières’s high-concept comedy When Margaux Meets Margaux starring Sandrine Kiberlain as a woman in her mid-40s who meets another woman called Margaux, who is actually her younger self. 

French actress Kiberlain, seen most recently in André Téchiné’s Being 17, will be in Cannes this year as president of the Caméra d’Or jury for first films.

Set against the backdrops of the Alpine resort of Les Arcs, Paris and Lyon, the picture revolves around two women both called Margaux, played by Kiberlain and Agathe Bonitzer.

Although 20-years apart in age, troubling details and similarities seem to link the two women. They discover they share more than the same name, with life changing consequences for both of them. 

It marks a sixth feature for Fillière after the 2014 marriage comedy If You Don’t, I Will which played at the Berlinale. Julie Salvador at Paris-based outfit Christmas in July is producing.

“I’m pleased to team up with Julie Salvador for the first time. The script is fun and refreshing, universal yet very unique, and I’m sure that anyone can identify with this situation we’ve all dreamt of,” said Indie Sales CEO and co-founder Nicolas Eschbach.

The picture is currently in post-production for delivery in early 2018. Memento Films Distribution will release the film in France.

Read full article HERE

Exclusive first look : Julien Hallard's 'Let the Girls Play'

SCREENDAILY January 11th, 2017  |  by Melanie Goodfellow

EXCLUSIVE: Indie Sales unveils first image of female soccer comedy.

Paris-based Indie Sales has unveiled a first image of French director Julien Hallard’s comedy Let The Girls Play inspired by the creation of France’s first official all-female soccer squad in the 1960s.

Described as social comedy in the vein of Bend It Like Beckham, the film revolves around the early days of a real-life, all-women squad set up almost by chance on the fringes of France’s Stade de Reims football club at the end of the 1960s.

Although women have played soccer for centuries, female teams only started to be recognised by official football bodies in countries such as France and the UK in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Rising French actors Vanessa Guide and Max Boublil [pictured] are co-stars in the mainly female cast.

Frédéric Jouve of Paris-based Les Films Velvet – the long-time producer of Rebecca Zlotowski (Planetarium, Grand Central, Belle Epine) whose recent credits also include skiing comedy Good Luck Algeria – is the lead producer.

Indie Sales will kick off sales at Unifrance’s Rendez-vous with French cinema in Paris this week (Jan 12-16) where it will show a first promo reel.

It is the debut feature for Hallard after a number of festival shorts including People Are Strange, Hair, Vinyl and Meeting Vincent Gallo. He co-wrote the script with Jean-Christophe Bouzy (Raw) and Claude Le Pape (Love At First Fight).

“We’re very proud and happy to start working with Frédéric Jouve on this exciting comedy. Let The Girls Play is in the vein of Bend It Like Beckham. We’ll be showing an exclusive promo in Paris and Berlin,” said Indie Sales chief Nicolas Eschbach.

The film is in post-production for release by Mars Films in the second half of 2017.

Read full article HERE

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