You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CANNES: Wild Bunch Pre-Sells Abel Ferrara’s ‘Welcome to New York’ Ahead of Cannes’ Screening

PARIS– Wild Bunch is set to host a special screening of Abel Ferrara’s highly anticipated “Welcome to New York,” starring Gerard Depardieu as a political figure reminiscent of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, outside of the official selection.

Paris-based powerhouse Wild Bunch will be orchestrating a massive digital release of Ferrara’s film on every major French platform — bypassing a theatrical launch –and is staging a day-and date release across multiple territories, notably Spain and Italy, on May 17.

“When we released the teaser last year in Cannes, it got pirated everywhere, so we understood that firstly, the anticipation surpassed our expectations and secondly, that this film was going to be the target of pirates. We realized it was the perfect film to experiment with this type of release: We’ll get to target the widest possible audiences at a faster pace, with a smaller investment than theatrical, and we’ll be able to limit risks of piracy, and preserve some kind of curiosity around the movie before the press starts unveiling what’s in it,” Wild Bunch co-founder Vincent Maraval told Variety.

Added Maraval: “Releasing it theatrically would have been extremely expensive because it’s a film we had planned to release on 600 prints. And it didn’t make sense to spend so much in P&A to release a film in theaters when we knew from the start that French TV channels, including Canal Plus, wouldn’t buy it because of self-censorship.”

Wild Bunch will put 1 million Euros ($1.4 million) into the French digital bow, and will be able to advertise on TV, a practice which is forbidden for theatrical releases.

Underscoring the vast media attention and anticipation from distributors that the movie has sparked since being first announced, Wild Bunch has nearly pre-sold it worldwide. It was picked up for Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay (IFA Cinema), Brazil (Imovision), Canada (Remstar Films), Central America, Colombia (Babilla Cine), Czech Republic, Slovak Republic (Hollywood Classic), English-speaking Africa (Videovision Enterprises), Germany, German-speaking Europe (Wild Bunch Germany), Iceland (Green Light), Italy (Bim Distribuzione), Middle East (Teleview), Poland (SPI International), Portugal, Portuguese-speaking Africa (Zon Lusomundo), Romania (Independenta Film), Spain (Vertigo Films), Albania, the Balkans (Investacommerce), Turkey, Turkish-Speaking Cyprus (Yeni Bir Film), the U.K. (Altitude Films), the Baltics (Must Kasi 2 OU), Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands (U-Dream) and the U.S. (IFC In Theaters).

In Cannes, Depardieu and co-star Jacqueline Bisset will be on hand to speak to international media at a special press conference.

Co-written by Ferrara and Chris Zois, “New York” toplines Depardieu as Mr Deveraux, who, according to the synopsis, is  “a man who handles billions of dollars a day, who controls the economic fate of nations, a man who dreamed of saving the world and cannot save himself.” Bisset plays his wife, Simone Deveraux.

“Depardieu is the best casting choice. He’s the real McCoy. When we shot with Depardieu, he just pulled a chair up before I got there. He has a passion for making movies like you’ve never seen in your life,” said Ferrara.


More Film

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

  • Roman Polanski extradition

    Academy Responds to Roman Polanski: 'Procedures Were Fair and Reasonable'

    UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has responded to a lawsuit from director Roman Polanski that claimed he was unfairly expelled from the organization behind the Oscars. “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” a spokesperson said. The Academy’s statement [...]

  • Lorraine Warren dead

    Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator Who Inspired 'The Conjuring,' Dies at 92

    Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and demonologist whose life inspired franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror,” has died. She was 92. Warren’s son-in-law Tony Spera confirmed the news. Spera said on Facebook, “She died peacefully in her sleep at home.” He continued, “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will [...]


    'Exorcist' Star Max Von Sydow Doesn't Let Age Define His Roles

    Max von Sydow turned 90 this month, which is a milestone for most people, but age has always seemed incidental to the actor. When he played the elderly, frail Father Merrin in “The Exorcist,” von Sydow was 44 — meaning he was the same age Bradley Cooper is today. In the 1950s, von Sydow had [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content