Fiorella Moretti, Hedi Zardi Open Intl. Sales Outfit Luxbox (EXCLUSIVE)

PARIS– Building on their worldwide ties and experience in production, distribution, acquisitions, sales and festival programming, Fiorella Moretti and Hedi Zardi are launching Luxbox, a Paris-based company dedicated to international sales and co-production on select projects.

A pair of energetic, well-rounded execs with complementary industry knowledge, Zardi and Moretti are finalizing their slate and will officially begin sales at the European Film Market. The shingle’s first co-production is Carlos Reygadas’ upcoming “Donde nace la vida” (“Where Life is Born”).

Moretti, a native of Latin America who is based in Paris, started out producing movies at Mexico-City based Mantarraya Producciones and worked on critically-acclaimed pics such as Amat Escalante’s “Heli” as well as Reygadas’s “Post Tenebras Lux.” Both films won Cannes’ best director awards for Escalante and Reygadas, respectively. After heading ND Mantarraya, a joint venture between Nodream Cinema and Mantarraya that became one of Mexico’s top indie distributor, Moretti launched with producer Jaime Romandia and director Reygadas, NDM, a sales and acquisition outfit with offices in Paris and Mexico in 2012.

Zardi, who is Franco-Tunisian, has worked at Fortissimo in acquisitions and at leading PR agency Public Systeme Cinema where he helped programmed Deauville and Marrakech film festivals, and spearheaded the creation of professional workshops and confabs at both festivals in collaboration with Europa Distribution and Europa International. He also worked at the Torino Film Lab. Over the years, Zardi has built connexions with festival/market programmers, talents, filmmakers, sales agents and distributors.

“We’re genuinely interested in director-driven films from around the world and we’re looking to discover fresh new voices and follow them. The idea is to work with arthouse films that can play at festivals and have the potential to crossover,” said Moretti.

Zardi said the company was aiming to handle 8 projects during its first year and expects to rep 12 movies within the next five years. “We’re searching for singular films – regardless of their size — from Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia,” pointed out Zardi.

Ultimately, the duo said they’re envisioning Luxbox as a boutique sales company and will always strive to be directly in touch with directors and producers they work with, collaborating with them as much as possible.

Although France ranks as Europe’s most crowded market for sales agents, Luxbox has the competitive advantage of starting out with a solid film library and a pool of filmmakers eager to follow Moretti and Zardi on their next journey. Moretti is indeed bringing with her NDM’s film catalogue which includes world cinema pics from Lisandro Alonso, Sharunas Bartas, Bruno Dumont, Amat Escalante, Ole Giæver, Luis Miñarro, Gabriel Ripstein, Carlos Reygadas, Jaime Rosales and Gust Van Den Berghe.

Zardi brings to the table his know-how of the festival circuit. “I’ve learned how to position a film and launch the international career in festivals,” argued the exec.

Speaking of the name of their company, Zardi said “Luxbox sounds dynamic, vivid and it symbolizes the light, which is connected to films that enlighten.”

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