Paris-based Selective Films, one of the rare French companies focusing on the distribution of upscale U.S. indies, has acquired a trio of prestige English-language period films: Jonathan Teplitzky’s “Churchill,” Peter Landesman’s “Felt,” and Danny Strong’s “Rebel in the Rye.”
Selective Films was launched by Jean-Philippe Tirel, the former boss of Wild Bunch Distribution, with the backing of independent producer Maya Hariri and Orange Studio, allowing Selective Films to co-acquire and co-distribute movies with Orange Studio and partner with another local distributor on a case-by-case basis.
“Churchill” and “Rebel in the Rye” were co-acquired with Orange Studio and will be released in France in 2017.
Set in June 1944, “Churchill” stars Brian Cox as the British World War II leader and Miranda Richardson as his wife Clementine. Repped by London-based outfit Embankment Films, “Churchill” was also just acquired by Lionsgate Intl. UK.
Starring Kevin Spacey, Nicholas Hoult, and Laura Dern, “Rebel in the Rye” depicts the life of celebrated yet reclusive author J.D. Salinger during WWII. Molly Smith and Bruce Cohen produced the film. Now in post, the film is being sold by Bloom.
“Felt,” meanwhile, was co-acquired with TF1 Studio and will be released theatrically by Paramount in 2017.
Produced by Ridley Scott, Giannina Facio-Scott and Marc Butan, “Felt” stars Liam Neeson as Mark Felt, a model FBI employee, who under the pseudonym “Deep Throat,” helped The Washington Post’s journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1974.
While it has focused on the acquisition of U.S. indies since its inception, Selective Films is now ready to expand its scope with the launch of Selective Prods., which will co-produce and acquire third-party French and European movies. Headed by Tirel and Romain Daubeach, Selective Prods. already has three movies in development, notably a comedy produced by Matthieu Tarot at Albertine Prods., and a family dramedy produced with Maya Hariri’s Rhamsa Prods.
Tirel has had success with upscale English-language historical dramas: While at Wild Bunch, he handled the release of “The King’s Speech,” which topped the French box office in 2011 with 5.7 million admissions.
Earlier this year, Selective Films co-acquired Wim Wenders’s “Submergence” with Mars Distribution. The movie stars Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy.