Studiocanal has nearly sold out Pierre Schoeller’s epic French Revolution drama “One Nation, One King” (“Un Peuple et son roi”) ahead of its world premiere in an out of competition slot at the Venice Film Festival.
Unfolding in 1789 Paris, “One Nation, One King” is told from the perspectives of revolutionaries and is headlined by a strong French cast including Gaspard Ulliel, Adèle Haenel and Louis Garrel. The film follows Françoise, a young washerwoman, and Basile, a drifter, who begin to fulfill a dream of emancipation in the newly formed assembly where they witness the creation of a new political system along with the working-class people of Paris.
Since introducing “One Nation, One King” to buyers at Berlin and at Cannes, Studiocanal has pre-sold the $20 million film to Spain (A Contracorriente), Japan (Kino Film), South Korea (Playlist), China (Shangai Jushi), Hong Kong (Edko), Greece (Seven), Portugal (Lusomundo), Benelux (Athena) and Switzerland (Frenetic). Other pre-sales were made for Taiwan (Moviecloud), Shaw (Singapore), Lebanon, Gulf (Salim Ramia), Hungary (Vertigo), CIS and Baltics (Pioner), Maghreb (Golden), New Caledonia (Trident), Reunion (Investment et Commerce), as well as airlines (Skeye).
“One Nation, One King” is produced by Denis Freyd at Archival 35, who is a longtime collaborator of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
Studiocanal will release the film in France.
Anne Cherel, Studiocanal’s head of international sales, said her team was in discussions to close the U.S. and is hoping to sell the film to Italy following its Venice premiere.
“The fact that we have been able to widely pre-sell such an ambitious film about a historical chapter that’s been covered so many times underscores the originality of this film because it’s told for the first time through the eyes of revolutionaries,” said Cherel, adding that “One Nation, One King” is both smart and accessible, which is not the case of many historical films.
In his director’s statement, Schoeller said he was inspired to make a film about revolutionaries because “these people built their sovereignty, established new relations of equality, ordained new rights (…). They have things to tell us.”
The long-gestated film marks Schoeller’s follow up to “The Minister,” which explored France’s political world and premiered at Cannes where it won the FIPRESCI prize.