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AFM: ‘Saint Laurent’ Pre-Sells for EuropaCorp (Exclusive)

EuropaCorp also inked key deals on Tommy Lee Jones’ 'The Homesman' starring Hilary Swank

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp has closed a raft of pre-sales on Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent,” a biopic of the famed French fashion designer.

Shopping “Saint Laurent” at the AFM, EuropaCorp’s international sales team – led by Marie-Laure Montironi — has pre-sold to Brazil (Imovision), Mexico (Cinemas Nueva Era), Switzerland (Frenetic) and Czech Republic (Hollywood).

Other AFM sales were inked for Poland, Thailand and Philippines. Pic pre-sold to Scandinavia, Portugal, Singapore and Indonesia at Cannes.

“We’re expecting to close major territories such as Germany, U.K. and Japan at Berlin where we will be unveiling the first images of the film,” said Montironi.

Penned by Bonello and Thomas Bidegain (“A Prophet,” “Rust & Bone”), “Saint Laurent” stars Gaspard Ulliel (“Hannibal Rising”), Lea Seydoux (“Blue Is The Warmest Color”), Jeremy Renier (“My Way”) and Louis Garrel (“A Castle In Italy”).

Bonello’s movie will shed light on the unique genius and neurosis of Yves Saint Laurent at the peak of his fame in the ’60s and ’70s.

“Saint Laurent,” produced by Eric and Nicolas Altmayer at Paris-based Mandarin, started shooting on Sept. 30 and will be delivered in May.

Meanwhile, a rival Yves Saint Laurent project, helmed by thesp-turned-director Jalil Lespert, will come out in France in January. Although both films center on Yves Saint Laurent, they differ in terms of narrative and aesthetic. The Bonello film is reportedly edgier, darker and more festival-driven than Lespert’s pic.

A critically-hailed French auteur, Bonello’s track record includes Cannes-preeming “House of Tolerance” and “Tiresia.”

At the AFM, EuropaCorp has also clinched various pre-sales on Tommy Lee Jones’ “The Homesman.”

Since showing the first images of “The Homesman” at Toronto, EuropaCorp has closed Germany (Universum), Australia (Madman), Belgium (Belga), Switerland (Praesens), Golf (Middle-East), Blitz (Croatia). Shingle also closed Taiwan and Thailand and is in talks with U.K., Russian and Japanese buyers.

“The Homesman,” a drama toplining Jones and Hilary Swank, will be completed in January.

“The AFM was a very intense market for us: Screenings were packed, and we got some deals going for both projects and finished films,” said Montironi.

Shingle’s AFM slate includes Liam Neeson starrer “Taken 3” and Louis Leterrier’s “Sea At War,” among other English-language films.

Aiming to expand its presence in the U.S., the French studio has just fully launched a Los Angeles-based production office spearheaded by Liza Ellzey and is currently in negotiations to acquire Millennium Entertainment.

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