Danner reteams with Valdelievre on Miller debut
PARIS — Following their partnership on “Lake Tahoe,” Paris-based sales company Funny Balloons is re-teaming with Mexico’s Cine Pantera, taking international sales rights to “Alicia, Go Yonder.”The feature film debut of Mexican director Elisa Miller whose short “Ver llover” won a Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, “Yonder” competes at next week’s Rotterdam Film Festival. “Alicia” turns on a 19-year-old girl who makes a solitary journey of discovery southwards from Buenos Aires to Patagonia’s Perito Moreno glacier. “Alicia” was shot on the hoof in Argentina, without a screenplay, with Miller reacting to Argentina’s imposing landscape and actors improvising from Miller’s indications. Produced by Christian Valdelievre for Cine Pantera, “Yonder” is the shingle’s first feature production since “Tahoe,” which Peter Danner’s Funny Balloons sold to more than 30 territories, including France (Ad Vitam), the U.S. (Film Movement) and U.K. (Yume). “Alicia” world preemed at October’s Morelia Festival in Mexico. It is a “beautiful chronicle of an initiation-quest,” Danner said at the Unifrance Paris Rendez-Vous, where Funny Balloons screened Pascale Rabate’s “Wandering Streams” to an upbeat reaction. The tale of an ageing widower’s rejuvenating rediscovery of his sexuality, “Streams” has been licensed by Funny Balloons to France (Ad Vitam), Belgium (Victory), Switzerland (Mont-Blanc Distribution) and Canada (Fun Film). Released June 23 in France during the World Cup, “Streams” grossed a highly creditable Euros1.8 million ($2.4 million). Another film sold internationally by Funny Balloons, Maryam Keshavarz’s “Circumstance” world preems in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance festival, which begins Thursday. Produced by New York’s MaraKesh Films and A Space Between, Bago Pictures and France’s Neon Prods., “Circumstance” is a Tehran-set teen girl friendship drama. Screenplay development was supported by the Sundance Institute. “Circumstance” is Keshavarz’s first fiction feature. It will initiate its sale campaign at Sundance, Danner said. Paradigm is handling U.S./Canada sales in Sundance, he added.