Films Distribution sells across slate

Buoyant biz on 'Skylab,' 'Flore,' '11 Flowers' and 'Lazhar'

SAN SEBASTIAN — France’s Films Distribution has sold Julie Delpy’s “Skylab” to Spain (Alta Films), Argentina (Alfa Films) and Portugal (Alambique).

Struck by FD partner Francois Yon at the San Sebastian Film Festival, where “Skylab” world preemed in Competition, sales join impressive deals on FD’s “11 Flowers,” “Cafe de Flore” and “Monsieur Lazhar.”

The buoyant biz underscores an uptick in prices paid by distributors and competition on key titles, FD partner Nicolas Brigaud Robert told Variety.

“Skylab” sealed a bevy of pre-sales: Germany (NFP) and Austria (Thin Films), Scandinavia (Cinema Mondo), Czech Republic (Megacom), Turkey (Bir Films) and Greece (7 Films).

Another FD San Sebastian competish entry, “11 Flowers,” co-produced by France’s Full House, has sold to high-caliber distributors: France’s Haut et Court, Australia’s Palace Films and Israel’s New Cinema.

Films Distribution also repped Venice and Toronto player “Cafe de Flore,” a time-hopping double love story from Canada’s Jean-Marc Vallee (“C.R.A.Z.Y.” “Young Victoria”).

Beyond previously announced pre-sales, it has closed Spain (Golem), Italy (Fandango), Brazil (Conquest Films) and Belgium (Cineart), plus Switzerland, Israel, Greece, Turkey and Austria.

Just-named Canada’s foreign-language Oscar candidate, “Monsieur Lazhar” has also sold bullishly, Brigaud Robert reported.

FD’s buoyant biz marks a turnaround in market fortunes, he argued.

With the crisis, “distributors didn’t know what to buy, sales were scattered all over the place, prices very low,” he said. “Now we’re entering into a new cycle, prices are coming back, and key title competition is returning.”

That’s due to greater market visibility and stability.

“Distributors have started to ascertain the revenues they can derive from DVD/VOD. In Europe at least, the issue of release costs for digital cinemas has been clarified,” he said.

“People who’ve had to refinance their company after a couple of bad years have either disappeared or been able to refinance,” he added.

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