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Drafthouse Films Tunes Into Michel Gondry’s ‘Mood Indigo’

Drafthouse plans a multi-city theatrical release later this year

PARIS — Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, has acquired U.S. rights to Studiocanal-repped “Mood Indigo,” the fantasy-filled surreal romantic tale helmed by Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”).

Adapted from Boris Vian’s novel “L’Ecume des Jours,” the Paris-set romance turns on two newlyweds, Chloe (Audrey Tautou, “Amelie”) and Colin (Romain Duris, “The Beat My Heart Skipped”), whose courtship is tested when an unusual illness plagues Chloe — a flower begins to grow in her lungs.

“Not since ‘Amelie’ have we seen Audrey Tautou so undeniably whimsical and charming,” said Drafthouse Films founder Tim League. “Her storybook romance with co-star Romain Duris is set perfectly within a quirky, visually-stunning fantasyland that only Michel Gondry could imagine.”

Pic was produced by Luc Bossi of Brio Films. The attractive French cast includes Omar Sy (“The Intouchables”), Aissa Maiga (“Cache”) and Gad Elmaleh (“The Capital”).

Drafthouse is planning a multi-city theatrical release later this year.

“Mood” world-preemed at Karlovy Vary and made its U.S. debut at Fantastic Fest in September with a shorter cut Gondry made for international auds.

Gondry has spoken about the movie as a passion project. “Reading Boris Vian accompanied my adolescence and participated to the development of my creativity,” said Gondry, “I was honored to be asked to direct an adaptation of his most famous work. I put all of me into it.”

Deal was negotiated by James Emanuel Shapiro on behalf of Drafthouse Films and Vanessa Saal, senior VP international sales at Studiocanal.

“Mood Indigo” is part of Studiocanal’s reduced slate of French films. At the UniFrance’s Rendez-Vous market, the company shopped three high-concept local films in post, including two romantic comedies: Nicolas Cuche’s “Anything For Alice” with Max Boublil (“The Brats”) and Aissa Maiga (“Mood Indigo”), thesp-turned-helmer Manu Payet’s feature debut “Relationship Status: It’s Complicated” and a more traditional laffer, Eric Lavaine’s “Barbecue.”

“In the past few years, we’ve noted local and international audiences’ growing interest for different kinds of comedies — either films like Manu Payet’s ‘It’s Complicated’ that target young adults and is inspired by U.S. romcoms , or films like ‘Barbecue’ that appeal to slightly more mature moviegoers,” said Matthieu Zeller, Studiocanal’s exec VP of strategic marketing, as well as French and international distribution.  

“Barbecue” turns on a man who suffers a heart attack on his 50th birthday and realizes he must enjoy life to its fullest and shake things up.

Pic boasts a popular cast — Lambert Wilson (“Of Gods and Men”), Florence Foresti (“Hollywoo”) and Franck Dubosc (“Asterix At The Olympic Games”). Studiocanal will release in France on April 30.

“Alice,” which screened at the RDV, follows a young internet tycoon who plays the guy-next-door to seduce a vibrant and independent young woman he fell in love with in college. The French theatrical release is skedded on Jan. 22.

“Complicated” stars Payet as Ben, a thirty-year old man whose plan to mary Juliette (Anais Demoustier) gets turned upside down when he reconnects with his high-school crush (Emmanuelle Chriqui, “Entourage”). Studiocanal will release the film on March 19.

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