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Berlin: MK2 Boards ‘P.E.A.R.L.’ With Mathieu Amalric, Peter Mullan

French mini-major MK2 Films has acquired international rights to “P.E.A.R.L., ” Elsa Amiel’s London-set drama chronicling the life of British bodybuilding star Lea Pearl.

Peter Mullan (“Top of the Lake”) and Mathieu Amalric (“On Tour,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel”) will topline the English-language drama alongside a real-life British bodybuilding star, who will be announced shortly.

“P.E.A.R.L.” follows the journey of a professional female bodybuilding star Lea Pearl, whose past catches up with her when, just a few hours from the final of the most important competition of her career, her ex-boyfriend (Amalric) shows up with the 6-year-old son she has not seen in years.

Pic marks the directorial debut of Ariel, who has previously worked as first assistant to Bertrand Bonello (“Saint Laurent”), Noemie Lvovsky (“Camille Rewinds”) and Mathieu Amalric (“On Tour”), among others.

Caroline Nataf and Bruno Nahon at Unite de Production (“Louise Wimmer,” “Hard Apple”) are producing with Lionel Baier at Bande a Part.

” ‘P.E.A.R.L.’ is an affecting portrayal of such an uncommon woman who’s sacrificed everything to master her body to the extreme and is forced to let her feelings emerge,” said Juliette Schrameck, who was just upped to head of MK2 Films, which handles both acquisitions and international sales.

Lensing will begin in September. Haut et Court will distribute in France.

“The project is an example of the types of daring, auteur-driven indie movies that MK2 Films is now concentrating on,” Schrameck said. MK2’s slate include Olivier Assayas’ “Personal Shopper” with Kristen Stewart, Serge Bozon’s “Mrs. Hyde” with Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu, Stephane Brize’s “A Woman’s Life” and Joan Chemla’s “If You Saw His Heart.”

The company, which is led by Nathanael Karmitz and owns a major arthouse theater circuit in France, has just shuffled its top management. On top of Schrameck, who was upped to boss of MK2 Films, Fionnuala Jamison was named head of international sales and Victoire Thevenin was appointed head of the heritage film collection.

MK2 has just started selling the restored copies of Olivier Assayas’ rare movies “Winter’s Child,””Disorder,””Irma Vep” and “Demonlover” in 2D.

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