The sale and Locarno berth – a Piazza Grande slot is often, though not inevitably, a sign of a crowd pleaser – mark further recognition for a title which has been racking up pre-sales since Paris-based Indie Sales screened a trailer at January’s UniFrance Paris Rendez-vous.
A late nineteenth-century drama based on true events, “Marie’s Story” (aka “Marie Heurtin”) stars Isabel Carre, the co-star of Ameris’ runaway hit “Romantics Anonymous,” as a nun who teaches a deaf, blind 14-year-old woman, whom doctors recommend to be committed to an asylum, to communicate with the world around her.
“Marie’s Story” is scheduled for a Nov. 12 release in France via Diaphana.
The period piece marks a venture into theatrical movie production for Sophie Revil and Denis Carot at Paris-based Eszcazal Films, a TV production company best known for its “Les Petits meurtres d’Agatha Christie,” a highly popular and long-running Gallic TV series.
The deal was finalized by Film Movement’s co-president Adley Gartenstein with Indie Sales founder Nicolas Eschbach. The distributor plans a 2015 theatrical release.
“We were struck to learn of this ‘French Helen Keller,’ and surprised her story is not nearly as well- known as her American counterpart’s. Director Jean-Pierre Ameris has made both a visually and emotionally beautiful film highlighting the inspiring lives of Marie Heurtin and her teacher, Sister Marguerite,” said Gartenstein.
He added: “We are incredibly proud to be bringing it to the U.S., and we have no doubt their story will now be enjoyed and celebrated by a wide American audience.”
“Marie’s Story” has already been picked up by leading major territory distributors such as Germany’s Tele Munchen, Spain’s A Contracorriente Films, South Korea’s AUD, a European film specialist, Cineplex in Columbia, Imovision in Brazil and Australia’s Madman.