SPC picks up pair of Gallic titles

Distrib co-prexys: Films represent the best of European cinema

CANNES — Sony Pictures Classics has acquired multiterritory distribution rights including North and Latin America to Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s $30 million “Bon Voyage” and to Francois Dupeyron’s “Mr. Ibrahim.”

“Bon Voyage,” which features Isabelle Adjani, Virginie Ledoyen, Gerard Depardieu, Yvan Attal and Gregori Derangere, was produced by Michele Petin and Laurent Petin of ARP. It is Rappeneau’s first pic since 1995’s “The Horseman on the Roof.”

The comedy follows the intertwining lives of a set of characters who flee Paris for the safety of Bordeaux in June 1940, as the French capital is about to fall to the Germans.

Screenplay was co-written by Rappeneau, Patrick Modiano, Jerome Tonnerre, Gilles Marchand and Julien Rappeneau.

“Mr. Ibrahim,” set in the Pigalle district of 1960s Paris, is a story of friendship and loyalty between a young Jewish boy and an old Arab man. Pic stars Omar Sharif.

“These films represent the very best of European cinema,” Sony Pictures Classics’ co-prexys Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom said. ” ‘Bon Voyage’ is a brilliantly crafted, stylish, colorful and grand entertainment, marking the fine return of French film master Jean Paul Rappeneau.

“Francois Dupeyron is another filmmaker of immense talent, and with ‘Mr. Ibrahim’ he tells a story that we feel will be embraced by the world. The film also features a career-high performance from Omar Sharif.”

The deal was negotiated by the SPC co-prexys and senior veep of acquisitions Dylan Leiner with Gregoire Melin for EuropaCorp, and producers Michele Halberstadt and Laurent Petin for ARP Selection.

(David Rooney contributed to this report.)

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