Pyramide Intl. is kicking off the Toronto Intl. Film Festival with the acquisition of Etienne Kallos’ feature debut “The Harvesters,” as well as three pics slated for the festival: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Rainbow — a Private Affair,” Annemarie Jacir’s “Wajib” and Tonie Marshall’s “Number One.”
“The Harvesters,” now in post-production, charts the childhood of a sheltered Afrikaans teenager whose life starts to unravel after his parents bring home an orphan. The film was presented at Venice Film Festival’s Final Cut sidebar, which is dedicated to films in post and hosted within the industry forum Venice Production Bridge.
Kallos is an emerging Greek-South African director whose short “First Born” won a prize at Venice in 2009 and his 2007 short “Doorman” played at Cannes’s Cinefondation and Sundance’s short film program.
“The Harvesters” is produced by France’s Cine de Facto, South Africa’s Spier Films, Poland’s Lava Films and Greece’s Heretic. The film will be delivered in the spring.
Pyramide is in Toronto with “Rainbow,” a WWII-set drama directed by the Taviani brothers (playing in Masters); Tonie Marshall’s “Number One,” a timely drama starring Emmanuelle Devos as a top-level executive at a French energy company who faces many obstacles in a male-dominated work environment (playing in Special Presentations); and “Wajib,” about a thirtysomething Palestinian working as an architect in Rome who travels to his hometown of Nazareth to help prepare his sister’s wedding. “Wajib” (pictured above) has been selected to represent Palestine in the foreign-language Oscar race.
Agathe Valentin, who heads international sales at Pyramide, said the company was planning a substantial local release on Oct. 11 across approximately 200 screens for “Number One.” The movie, which is based on Marshall’s meticulous research within France’s corporate world, is being backed by big sponsors such as Coca-Cola in France and will come out in time for the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville. “Number One” has already been picked up for Benelux, China, Israel and Switzerland.
One of the highlights of Pyramide’s current roster is Hubert Charuel’s topical thriller “Bloody Milk,” which world-premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week and has had a strong run at the French box office, grossing an estimated 821,000 euros ($1 million) from 130,000 tickets since opening on Aug.30. Pyramide is distributing the film in France.
“Bloody Milk” stars Swann Arlaud as a dairy farmer obsessed with his work who will stop at nothing to save his cows from the threat of an epidemic disease.