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Gaumont will ‘Stay’ with Goldthwait pic

Co. looking at edgier fare like acquisition, 'Sleep'

Gallic major Gaumont has taken international rights to the Sundance screened low-budget sex comedy “Stay.”

Pic, helmed by Bobcat Goldthwait, opens with college girl Amy (Melinda Page Hamilton) admitting that she has performed oral sex on her dog.

“It’s not the kind of film Gaumont is known for,” said the once conservative company’s CEO Franck Chorot Thursday, “but we are broadening our range with original films that have a potential for international sales.”

In the same edgier vein, France’s oldest film company financed Michel Gondry’s Sundance-selected “The Science of Sleep,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal. Film was picked up earlier this week for $6 million by Warner Independent Pictures, which will distribute it in the U.S. the U.K. and Canada.

After a few years in the Gallic box office doldrums Gaumont has bounced back, thanks the success of Valerie Lemercier’s comedy “Palais Royal,” and two lower-budget pics “Once Upon a Time in the Oued” and “You are So Handsome.”

Upcoming releases include two big-budget comedies, Francis Veber’s “The Valet,” starring Gad Elmaleh and Daniel Auteuil, and the James Bond-style spy thriller “OSS 117,” starring hot Gallic thesp Jean Dujardin, of “Brice de Nice” fame.

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