Hadas Ben Aroya’s debut depicts Tel Aviv millennials
MADRID — London-based Film Republic has acquired world sales rights to “Anashim Shenem Lo Ani” (“People That Are Not Me”), a Tel Aviv-set romantic dramedy.
Premiering earlier this month at the Locarno Film Festival, where it played in the Signs of Life section, “People That Are Not Me” is about people who are very much like the friends and contemporaries of director Hadas Ben Aroya, a young Israeli writer-director who self-produced “People That Are Not” and plays its lead. “People” marks her first feature.
Also DP-ed (Meidan) and edited (Or Lee-Tal) by other recent alums of the Steve Tisch School of Film at Tel Aviv University, “People That Are Not Me” turns on Joy (Ben Aroya), who’s a mess. She can’t let go of her ex, sleeps around, then meets Nir, a free-willed intellectual who does and says what he wants, inspiring Joy.
“The movie deals with urban loneliness within the Y generation. The young people of Tel Aviv who yearn for intimacy and are also terrified by it, who talk endlessly but never say anything authentic,” the plot summary reads.
Ben Aroya commented that was in her last semester at the Steve Tisch School of Film that she realized that she was “part of something.” “Western society teaches young people that they are special little unicorns. Well, I’m not.” So “People That Are Not Me” is about her “friends and their non-unicorn lives,” what “unites and defines us.”
“Making a film about unauthentic people requires strict authenticity,” she said. So she cast non-actors and played the lead.
The world sales rights deal on “People That Are Not Me” was negotiated by Film Republic managing director Xavier Henry-Rashid who attended Locarno. Film Republic will continue to introduce the film to buyers at the Busan Festival’s Asian Film Market and at the Rome Festival market.
A rarity – a London-Based arthouse sales agency – Film Republic has a strong line in film from a new generation of filmmakers, arthouse and more more mainstream foreign-language titles, such as Scottish filmmaker Ben Sharrock’s “Pikadero,” about two frustrated young lovers in a crisis-struck Basque village, and Swiss Niklaus Hilber’s “Amateur Teens,” which centers on a group of teens at a secondary school in Zurich.