Toronto: ‘Walesa’ Proves Toronto Sales Breakout (EXCLUSIVE)

Walesa Man of Hope

Andrzej Wajda movie sells slew of territories at festival

Confirming the status of “Walesa: Man of Hope” as one of this year’s Venice-Toronto breakout sales hits, Films Boutique has closed a slew of new deals in Toronto on the latest film by Polish grand master Andrzej Wajda.

Over the last few days in Toronto, Version Originale, the new distrib shingle founded by Eric Le Bot, has closed France on “Walesa.” Project London/Metrodome has taken the U.K., Esfera Filmes Brazil, and Cineplex Colombia and Latin American TV.

SEE ALSO: Film Review: “Walesa: Man of Hope”

Portugal (Films 4 You), Norway (Fidalgo), Sweden (Triart), Denmark (Camera Films) and Greece (Filmtrade) have also fallen under the spell of Wajda’s film, a portrait over 20 years, mixing live-action and docu footage, of Poland’s Lech Walesa, the dockworker and founder of the Solidarity trade union movement which persuaded Poland government to grant first semi-free elections in 1989.

Other countries sold include Romania (Independenta Films) and the Czech Republic and Slovakia (Artcam).
Premiering at Venice out of competition, “Walesa” was one of the first films to report sales from the Lido, inking with Japan’s New Select. Spain’s A Contracorriente and Hungary’s Cirko.

North America, German-speaking territories, Benelux, Italy and Australia are now under discusión, Film Boutique’s CEO Jean-Christophe Simon said at Toronto, calling festival reactions there “fantastic.”

Director of great films in the ‘50s chronicling the horrors of World War II in Poland, such as 1958’s “Ashes and Diamonds,” Wajda’s “Man of Iron,” a film supporting Solidarity, won Cannes 1981 Palme d’Or.

Michal Kwiecinski produced “Walesa: Man of Hope” for Akson Studio in Poland.

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