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Cannes: ‘Sauvage’ Set for North American Distribution With Strand Releasing (EXCLUSIVE)

Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Camille Vidal-Naquet’s feature debut “Sauvage,” which world premiered in Cannes’ Critics Week.

Felix Maritaud, who stars in the film as a 22-year-old gay male prostitute in free fall, won the best actor prize at Critics’ Week. Maritaud previously starred in Robin Campillo’s Cannes’s Grand Jury prize-winning “(BPM) Beats Per Minute).”

Besides exploring the world of male prostitution, “Sauvage” also tells the story of an unrequited love between Maritaud and a fellow hustler.

“We’re thrilled to be working again with Pyramide and to have this amazing discovery by a first-time feature filmmaker is a revelation. Both director and actor make this such an stunning film that best reflects the kinds of films that we strive to acquire and bring to American audiences,” said Strand Releasing’s topper Marcus Hu, who negotiated the deal along with the company’s Jon Gerrans and Agathe Valentin, head of sales at Pyramide International.

Vidal-Naquet said that having his first movie released in the U.S. by Strand Releasing is a “real blast.” “I admire their commitment in arthouse cinema for a long time. They are the best to bring the American audience to see the film,” said the helmer.

“Discovering ‘Sauvage’ was a real shock for us, the film is full of love, freedom and tenderness and Felix Maritaud moved us to tears. We are glad to team with Strand again with whom we share the same passion of cinema,” said Valentin and Pyramide International’s boss Eric Lagesse.

Pyramide International has also sold the film to the U.K./Ireland (Peccadillo), Germany (Salzgeber), Mexico (Canibal) and Taiwan (Swallow Wings). The company is in discussions with buyers from Poland, Spain and Switzerland.

“Sauvage” garnered strong reviews upon its Cannes premiere. Variety‘s Guy Lodge said that “even the title of Camille Vidal-Naquet’s tough but invigorating debut feature recalls the unmoored, asphalt-pounding energy of (Agnes) Varda’s seminal 1985 character study ‘Vagabond,’ though the feral human subject here is a gay male prostitute, as hardened by the elements and the travails of his profession as he is vulnerable to them.”

Vidal-Naquet described “Sauvage”‘s protagonist as a “solitary young man who hits the road and wanders from one encounter to the next, longing for love, driven by an unquenchable capacity for love that keeps him going, regardless of the violent world around him.”

“Sauvage” was produced by Emmanuel Giraud at Les Films de la Croisade and Marie Sonne-Jensen at La Voie Lactée.

Strand Releasing is planning to distribute the film in North America in late 2018.

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