LOCARNO — Taking another Venice title off the table, Berlin-based sales agent M-Appeal has picked-up world sales rights to “Jours de France” (4 Days in France), the freshman outing of France’s Jerome Reybaud- as well as the latest movie from Paris-based Chaz Productions which scored last year with Locarno hit “Summertime.”
KMBO will release “4 Days in France” in France. Pick-up typifies M-Appeal’s acquisition tastes which range from world cinema to arthouse to LGBT titles. “4 Days in France” ashes the last two strains, and adds a dash of social media contemporaneity.
World premiering at Venice Critics’ Week, “4 Days in France” is “probably the first movie to use Grindr as a main narrative thread,” said M-Appeal CEO Maren Kroymann.
M-Appeal’s sales executive Aleksandra Abykova attended Switzerland’s Locarno Festival this week, where she introduced the title to buyers.
Written by Reybaud, “4 Days in France” turns on a young man who ups and leaves to lose himself in France for four days and four nights, abandoning himself to its landscapes and chance encounters, some sexual. Meanwhile, his lover attempts to track him down, using the Grindr smartphone geo-social dating app.
“4 Days” stars Pascal Cervo (“Demented”), Arthur Igual (“Jealousy,” “Looking for Hortense”), Fabienne Babe (“Les rencontres d’apres minuit”), Judith Magre (“Elle”) and Latitia Dosch (“Age of Panic”).
“We see Jérôme’s distinct, unique handwriting in every scene – an interesting aspect to see such a stamp on a debut feature,” said Kroymann.
She predicted: “Audiences will connect with the characters and stay for the minimalist and absurd humour, coupled with beautiful cinematography; in effect, the film is as playful and fun as Grindr itself.”
In a typical funding structure for first-time French films, “4 Days in France” received an “avance sur recettes” subsidy from France’s CNC film board; French companies Film Factory and TSF co-produce.
M-Appeal also handles a second Venice Critics’ Week title, “Singing in Graveyards,” directed by Bradley Liew. His first feature, it turns on a man who has spent his life-time impersonating Philippine rock star Joey. Now 68, he determines to embark on a journey of self discovery, to free himself from his hero.
Released by Pyramide in France soon after its world premiere at Locarno last year, Catherine Corsini’s “Summertime,” about a young farm girl who discovers the love of her life in the figure of an older Paris-loving feminist woman, sold 295, 952 cinema tickets in France, the equivalent of an around-$2.1 million box office gross.