Cannes: Mister Smith Acquires Claude Lelouch’s ‘Un Plus Une’ (EXCLUSIVE)

India-set romantic drama stars ‘The Artist’s” Jean Dujardin

Jean Dujardin

LONDON – Marking its first big French auteur pickup, David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will launch international sales at the Cannes Festival on “Un plus une,” the latest film from Academy Award-winning Claude Lelouch (“A Man and a Woman,” “Les Unes et les autres”).

Starring Jean Dujardin, who became the first French thesp to win a best actor Academy Award, for his performance in “The Artist,” “Un plus une” is produced by Lelouch, Samuel and Victor Hadida, and Marc Dujardin. The Hadida brothers’ Metropolitan Films, one of France’s biggest and most respected indie distributors, will release “Un plus une” in France on Dec. 9.

Mister Smith’s pickup also marks the first time an international sales company is handling a Lelouch title. Now in post-production, “Un plus une” knits many of Lelouch’s hallmarks since he broke through to fame in 1966, winning a Cannes Palme d’Or and two Oscars for “A Man and a Woman”: romance, locations – the movie was shot in Mumbai, Benares and New Delhi — and a French star cast. It centers on Antoine, a successful and charming film composer, who travels to India to work on an original Bollywood retelling of Romeo and Juliet who falls for Anna, a woman who’s his complete opposite but finds him irresistible. Together they will embark on an astonishing journey.

Garrett commented: “We are honored to be presenting the latest work from such an iconic filmmaker with such a prestigious ensemble of French actors. We have a long and happy history of working with Samuel and Victor and are delighted they have entrusted us with ‘Un plus une.’”

Samuel and Victor Hadida added: “We are thrilled to be working with Claude Lelouch, a master of world cinema, on this celebratory film, 50 years after his chef d’oeuvre ‘A Man and a Woman,” winner of both an Academy Award and the Cannes Palme d’Or.  And we are doubly thrilled to be working with our friends at Mister Smith to bring this film to worldwide audiences.”

The winner of a best supporting actress Cesar Award for her role opposite Kristin Scott-Thomas in “I Loved You So Long,” Elsa Zylberstein plays Anna. Also starring in “Un plus une,” Alice Poi played opposite Dany Boon in 2014 blockbuster “Supercondriac.” Christopher Lambert (“Highlander”) has acted for Luc Besson and Michael Cimino and will next star in “Hail, Caesar!,” from Joel and Ethan Coen.

Jointly owned by Garrett and Broad Green Pictures and representing DreamWorks Studios films for Europe, which are distributed in France by Metropolitan FilmExport, Mister Smith’s upcoming features include biopic “Race,” about Olympic athlete Jesse Owens, being released April 8, 2016; “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” starring  Stephen Fry, Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel in the true story of mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar; “Equals,” a futuristic love story where emotions have been eradicated, starring Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult and Guy Pearce; and “Brain on Fire,” starring Dakota Fanning and Will Poulter and with producers including Charlize Theron.

In addition to “Un plus une,” and Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” Metropolitan’s FilmExport’s upcoming lineup includes Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario,” which plays in Cannes competition this year; Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG”; and a production of Metropolitan sister company Davis Films, Gilles Legrand’s “Scent of Mandarin,” starring Olivier Gourmet.