CANNES — Strand Releasing has acquired all U.S. rights to French master Andre Techine’s subtle coming-of-age drama “Being 17,” which world premiered in competition at Berlin.
Sold by Paris-based Elle Driver, “Being 17” has earned a warm critical welcome, with Variety‘s Peter Debruge describing it as Techine’s most youthful film and his strongest in years.
Set against the Pyrenees mountains, “Being 17” charts the burgeoning and complex relationship of two young men, 17-year-old classmates Damien and Thomas, who start off as enemies before developing romantic feelings for each other.
The film was penned by Techine and Celine Sciamma, a talented writer-director who has explored adolescence and sexual identity in her own movies — “Water Lily,””Tomboy” and “Girlhood.”
“Being 17” stars well-known French actress Sandrine Kiberlain and newcomers Kacey Mottet Klein and Corentin Fila. Olivier Delbosc and Marc Missonnier at Fidelité Films produced.
The deal was done between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Adeline Fontan Tessaur of Elle Driver.
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Strand Releasing previously worked on Andre Techine’s cult “Wild Reeds,” as well as “The Girl on the Train,” “Witnesses” and “Unforgivable.” The U.S. distributor has also handled Sciamma’s “Girlhood.”
“We’re so thrilled to have ‘Being 17;’ in spirit this film captures the same youthful vibrancy of ‘Wild Reed’ and ‘Girlhood,’ ” said Strand’s co-founders Gerrans and Marcus Hu, who plan on releasing “Being 17” in late fall.
Elle Driver’s Tessaur added, “Based on Strand’s relationships with both Andre and Celine, it’s the perfect match for the U.S.”
Strand Releasing’s slate includes Athina Rachel Tsangari’s “Chevalier,” Lorenzo Vigas’ “From Afar,” Catherine Corsini’s “Summertime” and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Cemetery of Splendor.”