“Close Enemies,” produced by Marc du Pontavice at One World Films, is a Paris-set contemporary crime thriller starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Reda Kateb as two close friends in a suburb riddled by drug trafficking who end up taking opposite paths in life.
The film has been sold to Italy (Europictures), Spain (La Aventura), Turkey (Bir Film), Greece (Spentzos Film), China (Hishow Entertainment) and Benelux (O’Brothers).
Oelhoffen has a solid track record on the festival circuit. His last film, “Far From Men,” which was based on Albert Camus’ “The Guest” and starred Viggo Mortensen, also world premiered on the Lido, while his feature debut, “In Your Wake,” premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week. “With ‘Close Enemies,’ Oelhoffen confirms that he belongs to the rare breed of talented French directors like Jacques Audiard who know how to tackle crime films,” said Gilles Sousa, head of international sales at Bac Films.
Sousa said Venice was providing “Close Enemies” with a great launchpad. “Being part of this year’s strong competition lineup has already earned the film a label of quality and a good buzz,” said Sousa, who will be unveiling a promo of Jeanette Nordahl’s thriller “Wildland” at Toronto and is continuing sales on Paolo Virzi’s “Notti Magiche” and Eric Tosti’s “Terra Willy,” among other films on the Bac slate.
Du Pontavice, who also produced Oelhoffen’s “Far From Men,” said the selection of “Close Enemies” at Venice showed that festivals are now embracing genre films from France and Europe. For many years, only U.S. and Asian genre films gained recognition, but Oelhoffen has put his stamp on thrillers with “Close Enemies,” as has Audiard on Westerns with “The Sisters Brothers,” which is also premiering in Venice.