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Locarno: Wide Acquires Sales Rights to ‘Our Loved Ones’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Canadian Anne Emond’s second feature world premieres at Locarno’s Filmmakers of the Present

MADRID –Stepping up as one of the sales agents with most titles at Locarno, Loic Magneron’s Paris-based sales-production house Wide has acquired Canadian Anne Emond’s “Our Loved Ones” which screens in the Swiss Fest’s Filmmakers of the Present.

Also written by Emond, “Our Loved Ones” is produced by Sylvain Corbeil and Nancy Grant at Montreal-based Metafilms whose credits include “Mommy,” Xavier Dolan’s Cannes Jury Prize co-winner, and Denis Cote’s “Vic + Flo Saw a Bear.”

A weight-of-the-past drama, it turns on the emotional legacy of a family tragedy: In 1978, Guy Leblanc dies tragically in a small village of the province of Quebec. The real cause of his death remains a mystery for most of his family. Years later, his son David, now a loving father of two children, secretly still carries the weight of this tragedy as must David’s daughter with her own reaction to her father’s suffering.

“Our Loved Ones” is about what a generation passes on to the next, Emond has said.

Anne Emond’s photography is very elegant and melancholic and the soundtrack, which takes in American rock songs from the ‘90s by Eliott Smith or Blind Melon, gives a very retro and trendy feel to the film that should make it even more appealing to a large audience,” said Wide’s Georgia Poivre.

Shot in Emond’s native Bas-du-Fleuve region of Quebec, Montreal and Barcelona, it stars Maxime Gaudette (“Incendies”), Karelle Tremblay (“Miraculum,” “Corbo”). “Loved Ones” (“Les Etres chers”) marks the second feature from Emond whose “Night#1” won best Canadian feature at the 2011 30th Vancouver Fest and a special jury citation for best Canadian first feature at the 36th Toronto Fest the same year. It was distributed in Europe, Asia and North America.

“Wide has always represented films by female directors. Part of this new wave of young Canadian directors, Anne Emond especially is unique in her style and one of the rare female directors from Quebec who is distributed internationally,” Poivre added.

Last week, Wide confirmed it had acquired international sales rights to “Wonderland” (“Heimatland”), the only Swiss title in international competition and a showcase for the talents of 10 young Swiss directors. Shot in French and German, the drama imagines a double catastrophe for the ruggedly independent Switzerland: A hurricane that looks set to destroy the country, and reduce it to relying on foreign powers for survival.

As already announced, Wide handles international sales on Lionel Baier’s euthanasia comedy “Vanity.” Scheduled for a September bow in France (Happiness Films) and Switzerland (Frenetic), and helmed by established but versatile Swiss auteur Baier (“Stupid Boy,” “Longwave”), “Vanity” stars Patrick Lapp, Carmen Maura and Ivan Georgiev.

“With ‘Vanity,’ I believe that Lionel has came back to his roots,” said Magneron, Wide having sold successfully Baier’s 2008’s Locano player, “Another Man.” “Lionel is a strong auteur with a personal style and works very well with his actors.”

Wide also reps a third Swiss film at Locarno: “Dora or the Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents,” which plays in the fest’s Swiss Panorama. Screening at Berlin’s Panorama, the first feature from Swiss Stina Werenfuls centers on a mentally disabled 18-year-old girl who begins to discover her own sexuality and takes up with a shady b.f. He soon leaves her pregnant.

“Dora” “raises important social and legal issues. The provocative film discusses questions of self-determination for people with disabilities and questions of contemporary female identity,” Poivre commented.

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