Variety's Achievement in Int'l Film Award: Olivier Courson
Studiocanal and its partners film on several continents, pursuing the best location for the story and often taking advantage of generous local tax incentives:
“King of Soho”
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Production: Revolution Films, Studiocanal
Starring Steve Coogan, Anna Friel and Imogen Poots, the tragicomedy set in 1970s London chronicles the life of legendary U.K. porn baron Paul Raymond who becomes the country’s wealthiest man. Per Jenny Borgars, Studiocanal head of U.K. production, pic is a “roller coaster ride through the glamour and grime of Soho, as we chart the rise and fall of Soho’s original king of porn.”
“I Give It a Year”
Director: Dan Mazer
Production: Working Title, Studiocanal
Status: Shooting in London
Working Title Filmsteams up with Studiocanal for a second time for this romantic comedy penned and helmed by Dan Mazer, Sacha Baron Cohen’s longtime collaborator. U.K. producer Kris Thykier (“Kick-Ass”) also joins the project, which stars Rose Byrne, Simon Baker, Anna Faris and Rafe Spall. Story follows tribulations of a couple in their first year of marriage. “The intention was to do a reverse romantic comedy, which was to start at the end and work back to the beginning,” says Working Title topper Tim Bevan.
“Ernest and Celestine”
Directors: Vincent Patar, Stephane Aubier, Benjamin Renner
Production: Les Armateurs, Studiocanal, Maybe Movies, Le Parti, Melusine Pics
A daintily drawn — think Beatrice Potter water-colors in motion — portrayal of friendship between an ingenious young mouse and curmudgeonly bear with artistic ambitions. Warmly received in sneak-peek excerpts at 2011’s Annecy fest. Plays Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. “It’s amazing,” Courson enthuses. “We’ll do very strong sales.”
Director: Michel Gondry
Production: Brio Films, Studiocanal
Status: Started shooting April 9.
With Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris, Omar Sy. Gondry’s take on Boris Vian’s surreal, tragic love story, “The Foam of Days,” set in a timeless Paris. “We’re playing with the Parisian settings, the story’s very romantic, very poetic, close to ’40s and ’50s French cinema, but with Michel’s fantasy and an international-appeal cast, ” says co-scribe/producer Luc Bossi. A potential 2013 Cannes player.
“Billy and Buddy”
Director: Alexandre Charlot, Franck Magnier
Production: LGM Cinema, Nexus Factory, Bidibul Prods., TF1 Films Prods., Studiocanal
Status: Rolls June 8
Helmed by “Welcome to the Sticks” co-scribes Charlot and Magnier, a live-action makeover of a classic comic-strip about a boy and his cocker spaniel, first published in 1959, working the same homely retro family comedy groove as smash-hit “Little Nicholas.”
“African Safari 3D”
Director: Ben Stassen
Production: nWave, Studiocanal
Stassen’s first live-action 3D venture, the $18 million wildlife docu is an expedition across 2,800 miles by balloon, boat and four-wheel-drive from the sand dunes of Namibia to the summit of Kilimanjaro. “It was an ambitious undertaking,” Stassen says. “Instead of focusing on one animal or location, I decided to cover them all.”
“Sammy’s Adventures 2”
Director: Ben Stassen
Production: nWave Pictures, Illuminata Pictures, Motion Investment Group
This $32.5 million family adventure, a sequel to “Sammy’s Adventures,” has turtle Sammy and mates trapped in a gigantic Middle East restaurant aquarium. “It’s a light-hearted, action-oriented film that addresses important issues like the environment,” Stassen says. Pat Carroll and Melanie Griffith voice the international version.
“Pillars of the Earth”
Director: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Production: Tandem, Scott Free, Muse Ent.
Lavish 2010 TV adaptation of Ken Follett’s novel. Revolving around the building of a cathedral in 12th century England, “Pillars” solidified Studiocanal partner Tandem’s position as a major force in event programming. Sold, among major broadcasters, to Starz for the U.S., Germany’s Sat.1, France’s Canal Plus, Blighty’s Channel 4, and Spain’s Cuatro.
“World Without End”
Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Production: Tandem, Take 5 Prods., Galafilm, Scott Free, Mid Atlantic Films
Picks up 200 years after “Pillars,” but is very different, says Tandem’s Rola Bauer. “‘World’ focuses more on female characters, though still illustrating the cruelty and harshness of the Middle Ages.”
Director: Susanne Bier
Production: 2929 Prods., Nick Wechsler Prods., Chockstone Pictures
Lensing at Prague’s Barrandov Studios and other Czech locations. With a killer cast — Bradley Cooper playing a timber baron in Depression-era North Carolina, Jennifer Lawrence his barren, jealous wife — ” ‘Serena’ perfectly illustrates Studiocanal’s production priority: a high-quality film with a great director, a very appealing cast and strong potential worldwide, and in our three territories,” Courson says.
“The Last Exorcism 2”
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Production: Strike Ent., Arcade Pictures
Sequel to 2010’s breakout hit “The Last Exorcism,” the New Orleans-set pic reteams Ashley Bell as Nell Sweetzer, and producers Eli Roth, Marc Abraham and Eric Newman. “This will be more conclusive, larger-scale and conventional narrative, not found footage,” Newman promises. Has pre-sold 70% of Studiocanal’s international territories
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Production: Scott Rudin Prods., Mike Zoss Prods.
A classic Studiocanal “international indie” pic, in Courson’s parlance, set amid the ’60s Greenwich Village folk music scene with an ensemble cast headed by Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan. The Coens’ first film on the indie market in years, “Davis” clinched a swathe of pre-sales sans script and with only a few cast names.