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Berlin: Anne Fontaine’s ‘The Innocents’ Lures Buyers (EXCLUSIVE)

Anne Fontaine’s “The Innocents,” a French drama that world premiered at Sundance, is proving one of the hottest foreign-language arthouse movies for sale at Berlin’s EFM.

Repped by Films Distribution (“Son of Saul”), “The Innocents” has sold to Canada (Mongrel), Japan (Longride), Spain (Caramel), Brazil (Mares), Mexique (Alebrije), Italy (Goodfilms), Denmark (FilmBazar), Sweden/Finland (Edge), Norway (Tour de Force), Portugal (Films for You), Greece (Feel Good), Switzerland (Agora), Belgium (Imagine) and Colombia (Cinecolombia).

Set in Poland in December 1945, “The Innocents” stars Lou de Laage (“Breathe”) as Mathilde, a young French Red Cross doctor based in Warsaw who crosses paths with a nun seeking her help. Entering into the convent, she soon discovers that the entire order has been profoundly traumatized and several nuns are pregnant from a series of brutal sexual assaults by the “liberating” Red Army. Although Mathilde is a non-believer, she becomes the nuns’ only hope.

Produced by Mandarin Cinema, “The Innocents” was picked up by Music Box for the U.S. as the Berlin Film Festival kicked off.

Fontaine most recently directed “Gemma Bovery,” with Gemma Arterton and Fabrice Luchini. Her English-language debut, Two Mothers” with Naomi Watts and Robin Wright, premiered at Sundance.

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