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Cannes: Gaumont Turns Buyers’ Heads With Omar Sy’s ‘Samba’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Gaumont has locked down major territory sales on Omar Sy starrer “Samba,” Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s follow-up to worldwide box office hit “The Intouchables.”

The French major, which screened a 12-minute promo of the €15.3 million ($20 million) “Samba,” lured back “Intouchables” distribs Gaga (Japan), Senator (Germany), Frenetic (Switzerland), Greece (Odeon) and Turkey (Calinos), enlisted new buyers: Belga (Benelux), Italian Intl. Film/RAI (Italy) and Top Films (Russia). Gaumont’s head of international, Cecile Gaget, said her team was closing Canada, Latin America and Spain.

“Samba” reunites Nakache and Toledano with their “Intouchables” star Sy and producers: Nicolas Duval Adassovsky , Yann Zenou and Laurent Zeitoun at Quad. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim and Izia Higelin complete the cast.

“As with Nakache/Toledano’s previous movies, ‘Samba’ is a crowdpleaser, an ensemble comedy about friendship, solidarity and deals with current issues we can relate to in different parts of the world,” Gaget said.

The 2011 “Intouchables” is the biggest French-language hit of all times overseas, grossing $426.6 million worldwide. “Samba” is now in post production and will be released by Gaumont on Oct. 15.

In Cannes, Gaumont is also shopping Remi Bezancon’s “Our Futurs,” a dramedy starring Pierre Rochefort (“Going Away”) as a thirty-something man whose boring life is turned upside down after he reconnects with a childhood friend played by Pio Marmai (“A Happy Event”). Eric and Nicolas Altmayer at Mandarin Cinema, who have Laurent Bonello’s “Saint Laurent” competing at Cannes, are producing the film, due to start lensing this Summer.

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