Paris-based sales-production-distribution house Wide has taken world sales rights to a bouquet of Berlin-selected titles – led by “You’ll Never Be Alone,” “Before the Streets,” Nakom” and “One of Us” – as the Wide-sold “Vanity” and ‘Our Loved Ones’ screen at Goteborg.
Playing Panorama, Forum and Generation and the Perspektive Deutsch Kino sidebars, Wide’s Berlin spread of five titles includes three feature debuts, confirming the French shingle’s commitment to discover new talent.
Playing Berlin’s Panorma, and the first feature of Chilean composer-turned director Alex Anwandter, “Alone” follows a gay teenage who gets beaten up by homophobic youths. Title “differs from other LGBT titles, by revolving on the relationship between a gay son and his father instead of a couple’s love story,” said Georgia Poivre, at Wide.
“Emotional and stylish,” “it highlights the tolerance of a father in a conservative country,” she added of the 5AM Producciones and Araucaria Cine coproduction. It plays at Berlin Panorama section.
A second Wide title world premiering in Panorama is U.S./Ghana co-production “Nakom,” co-directed by Kelly Daniela Norris (“Shadows of Blue”), and debutant T.W. Pittman, turning on a young, gifted medicine student forced to choose between tradition and ambition.
First-timer Chloe Leriche’s Wide-handled “Streets” plays at Berlin Generation showcase. Produced by Canada’s Les Films de l’Autre production, it turns on an unknown and secluded Canadian indigenous community in Quebec. With a documentary approach, “Streets” portrays the social conditions and culture of a community that have never been shown before on film. If “Nakom” is the first pic ever shot in Kusaal language, “Streets'”Atikamekw dialog is also a cinema first, per Wide sources.
Directed by first-timer Stephan Richter, “One of Us” is a coming-of-age drama produced by Austria’s Golden Girls Film. Based on a real story, it depicts a provincial middle class – instead of stereotyped delinquents – which commits an irredeemable act out of boredom. “We feel like the film is a snapshotof this new aimless generation,” Poivre said. “Us” nabbed the Max Ophüls best film prize in January and screens in Perspektive Deutsch Kino sidebar at Berlin.
“Wide always works with first-time directors, films with socio-cultural concerns, a totally different, edgy, art cinema. I haven’t changed my focus. And all over the world they always know that in my company they can find films that are a bit different, that are singular, for a niche market,” Wide’s CEO Loïc Magneron said.
“We Are Never Alone,” also on Wide’s slate, world premiering in the Berlinale’s Forum section. Directed by Czech Petr Vaclav, a 1996 Silver Leopard winner with “Marian,” it turns on the friendship between a paranoid prison guard and his new neighbor, an unemployed hypochondriac supported by his wife. It’s a drama showing “how today, in the midst of a European social and political crisis, people struggle to find happiness in a hostile world where life can be only a source of frustrations,” Poivre explained.
Prior to the Berlin Fest, two Wide entries will compete at Swedens Göteborg Festival: Swiss Lionel Baier’s bittersweet comedy about euthanasia, “Vanity,” and weight-of-the-past drama turning on the emotional legacy of a family tragedy, Canadian Anne Emond’s sophomore outing, “Our Loved Ones.”
Recently updated Wide slate include thrillers such as Dutch Tjebbo Penning’s “Clean Hands,” based on Rene Appel best-seller, Spaniard Kurro Gonzalez’s “The Writer’s Burrow,” about a crime novelist suffering block since his wife’s death, Brazilian horror movie “The Fostering,” co-directed by Rodrigo Gasparini and Dante Velasco, and French Thierry Sebban’s “Pseudonym.”
Magneron founded Wide in 1997. Its boutique catalogue includes more than 400 features and 300 documentaries, refreshed by over 20 new entries per year.
“I am very optimistic about the future, even if it’s difficult, like before, for sure, especially for this kind of cinema I work with,” Magneron concluded.
He added: “Although the market is changing, if you got a strong, different content and a network support, if you offer global services to producers, the market can give you other opportunities.”