LOCARNO — Munich-based Beta Cinema is closing early sales on “Vincent and the End of the World,” a Locarno Piazza Grande world premiere reuniting the team behind “Moscow, Belgium” which swept Cannes Critics’ Week in 2008 taking all three of its prizes.
As on “Moscow, Belgium,” Belgian Christophe Van Rompaey once more directs from a screenplay by Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem who also produces with Dries Phlypo, at A Private View, “Vincent’s” lead production house.
Barbara Sarafian (“Bullhead,” “8 1/2 Women”), star of “Moscow, Belgium” – who delivered in that film what Variety described as “knock-out perf” in a “working-class dramedy, in the tradition of Mike Leigh’s best early efforts” – once more has a lead role in “Vincent.”
In early business, Cineworx has acquired Swiss rights to “Vincent.” All French rights have been acquired by Ad Vitam, one of France’s most energetic arthouse/cross-over distributors whose releases this year range from fest winners such as Berlin best actor and actress winner “45 Years,” which gave Charlotte Rampling an Oscar nomination, to higher-profile French fare, such as Pascal Bonitzer’s “Tout de Suite Maintenant,” starring Isabelle Huppert.
Paradiso Filmed Entertainment is handling Benelux rights and plans a Belgium release on Aug. 31. Further deals, most particularly to Germany, are under negotiations, said Thorsten Ritter, Beta Cinema’s EVP.
“Moscow, Belgium” turned on a battling mother of three attempting to resolve her chaotic love-life while bringing up her brood. “Vincent” shifts focus to adolescence in a coming-of-age tale or – for most of its going, a non coming-of-age tale – centres on Vincent, who attempts to terrorise his family into reducing its carbon footprint by suicide attempts.
Vincent persuades his flamboyant ditzy aunt Nikki, herself stuck in an eternal adolescence, to take him to Paris. Nikki thinks she can bring him out of himself. But Vincent has his own agenda and plans a drastic protest action in Paris.
Alexandra Lamay – star of Francois Ozon’s “Ricky” and French comedy hits, such as “Back to Mom’s,” which earned $12 million from a June 1 bow in France – plays Nikki.
“A comedy about suicide,” said Van Rompaey, “Vincent and the End of the World” is also a “dramatic story with a funny edge and deals with both life’s joys and its disappointments.” He added that its base is “a feeling of unease, restlessness, lack of vision and future almost inherent in living and growing up in the world today.”