Cannes: Vivendi’s Studiocanal Unveils Stassen’s ‘Bigfoot,’ Klapisch’s ‘Burgundy’

‘The Son of Bigfoot’ is produced with Waterman Ent. (‘Alvin and the Chipmunks,’ ‘Stuart Little,’ ‘Casper’)

from the land of the moon
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

PARIS – Euro film-TV group Studiocanal, Europe’s biggest film production force, will introduce to buyers at Cannes both a new Ben Stassen movie, “The Son of Bigfoot,” and “Back to Burgundy,” from French dramedy maître Cedric Klapisch (“The Spanish Apartment” trilogy, “Paris”).

Sold robustly by Studiocanal at Berlin, Nicole Garcia’s Marion Cotillard-starrer “From the Land of the Moon,” produced by Alain Attal, plays in competition at Cannes.

As so many companies struggle to put together high-profile movies and threaten to come to Cannes with projects that lack stars or U.S. distribution or pre-sales financing, Studiocanal’s early slate is one of the first Cannes line-ups unveiled by a top-echelon sales company. Fully-financing its productions, “we know that when we come to a market with a film that it’s set and ready to go,” said Anna Marsh, head of international film sales.

The production-distribution-sales company’s Cannes lineup also frames new productions from France – Sara Forestier starrer “Elementary,” announced as a production last fall – and from Germany, whose production operation is now hitting high-gear: “My Blind Date With Life,” a comedy directed by Marc Rothemund (“Sophie Scholl”).

Produced by nWave Pictures, a Studiocanal company, and Waterman Ent. (“Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Stuart Little,” “Casper”), 3D animated “The Son of Bigfoot” reteams the “The House of Magic’s” directorial duo of Stassen and Jeremy Degrusen in a film that is an older-skewing film and really speaks to both children and adults on two levels,” said Marsh.

Closer to a U.S. sensibility, it turns on a teen outsider who uncovers the truth that he is the son of the mysterious Bigfoot and as such has super powers, which he needs to save his family. “Dynamic and very funny, ‘The Son of Bigfoot’ takes an audience on a whirlwind, action-packed adventure ride, is a well-known IP around the world, and audiences will pick up on the father-son relationship,” Marsh said. Studiocanal will show 3D footage at Cannes on “The Son of Bigfoot,” which is now in full-production phase, tracking for an end-of-summer 2017 release, she added.

Studiocanal will release in France, U.K., Germany and Australia/New Zealand, where it runs its own direct distribution operations.

Starring an up-and-coming French cast of Pio Marmai (“The First Day of the Rest of Your Life”), Ana Girandot (“Next Time I’ll Aim For the Heart”) and Francois Civil (“Five”), the latest from “Chinese Puzzle” director Klapisch centers on a long-lost brother who returns to his inherited family vineyard to decide with his siblings on its future. “Back to Burgundy” “has the entertaining balance between comedy and drama of ‘Spanish Apartment,” turns on heritage, transmission on land, how parents give you roots and wings, the notion that passage of time can mature for the better,” Marsh said.

New to Studiocanal’s sales slate, and billed by Marsh as “a German ‘Intouchables.’” the true-facts-based comedy “My Blind Date With Life,” is a buddy movie about a young man who is going blind but, with the help of close friends, disguises the fact when working at a top hotel in Munich. Director is Marc Rothemund, helmer of 2005’s Oscar-nominated “Sophie Scholl – the Final Days,” before moving into comedy with the Bernd Eichinger-produced “Pornorama.” “My Blind Date With Life” opens Nov. 24.

Marking Helene Angel’s fourth feature – after social-issue dramas “La Vie Parisienne” and “Skin of Man, Heart of Beast” – “Elementary” stars Forestier as a devoted 30-year old school teacher at a crossroads in life, facing challenges at work where she has to shepherd her fifth grade students and on a personal level as her son wants to go live with his father. Giving so much, she finally falls in love, getting something back. Forestier stunned France with her performance in “The Names of Love,” which won her a French Academy Cesar.

“Elementary” will be released in France on Nov. 17 by Studiocanal, which has also taken U.K. rights. Vincent Elbaz (“The Hundred-Foot Journey,” “Would I Lie To You”) co-stars.