Euro buyers line up for ‘Lourdes’

Venice competition film sells to several territories

PARIS — Venice Film Festival competition title “Lourdes” has found a home in key European territories.

The Paris-based Coproduction Office has inked deals with TFM (France), Cinecitta Luce (Italy), NFP (Germany), Lumiere (Belgium), Filmmuseum (Netherlands), NetXenix (Switzerland) and MTU Otaku (Estonia).

Helmer Jessica Hausner’s pic follows a lonely woman, played by Gallic thesp Sylvie Testud (“La Vie en Rose”), who becomes the object of envy and admiration after she’s miraculously cured from a lifelong physical handicap during a visit to the holy site of Lourdes in southwest France.

“Lourdes” will world preem at Venice on Friday, before heading to the Toronto and Pusan fests.

“We got the call from (Venice fest topper) Marco Mueller five months ago,” said Coproduction Office prexy Philippe Bober. “Getting the selection very early on allowed us to work more efficiently on post-production, marketing and sales.”

The Coproduction Office reps two other films in competition at Venice: Japanese helmer Shinya Tsukamoto’s “Tetsuo, the Bulletman,” and Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat’s feature directorial debut, “Women Without Men,” based on Shahrnush Parsipur’s magic-realist novel.

Both pics are produced by Martin Gschlacht’s Coop99, Susanne Marian’s Essential Filmproduktion and Bober’s Parisienne de Prods., the Coproduction Office’s production arm.

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