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Wide House Unveils Flurry of Deals on IDFA Players (EXCLUSIVE)

Documentaries 'The Waldheim Waltz,' Austria's Oscar entry, and 'The Raft' head Paris-based sales company's recent business

Paris-based sales company Wide House has sealed a flurry of deals for two titles playing this week at Amsterdam’s IDFA documentary festival: Ruth Beckermann’s “The Waldheim Waltz,” Austria’s candidate for the 2019 Oscars, and Marcus Lindeen’s “The Raft.”

World premiering at February’s Berlinale, where it won the Glashutte Award for best documentary, “The Waldheim Waltz” focuses on the Nazi war-crimes scandal surrounding Kurt Waldheim, the former U.N. secretary general, who was president of Austria from 1986 to 1992.

SVOD rights have been bought by Filmin in Spain and Turn Key Films for Scandinavia and Italy.

Distribution rights were acquired respectively by Menemsha Films in North America -in an already announced deal-, Elf Pictures in Hungary and Tricontinental in former-Yugoslavia territories.

In Switzerland, pubcaster RSI took Italian-language rights; Israeli broadcasting rights went to Channel 8 and KAN.

“Waldheim” receives its Dutch premiere Thursday Nov. 22 as part of Master sidebar at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), having been picked up by Dutch public broadcaster VPRO.

“’The Waldheim Waltz’ is a very important focus as one of the three best-sellers of the year for Wide House and one of the most relevant films of 2018, hence the Glashutte Award in Berlin,” said Anaïs Clanet, general manager at Wide House.

“The world is being governed by populist leaders. This is scary – how watching Kurt Waldheim is watching them all. Voters, us, what did we learn from the past except nothing? We are being tricked by the same technics and Ruth Beckermann implores us in a way to react and learn,” she added.

Further Wide House titles at the current IDFA edition take in Marcus Lindeen’s “The Raft,” playing at Best of Fest section.

The Sweden-Denmark-Germany-U.S. co-production revisits the Acali Experiment, a 1973 scientific study that puts a group of people on a raft for three months across the Atlantic.

Best documentary at Chicago Intl. Film Festival, “The Rafts” sales rights for North America were nabbed by Cinetic Media. Telefónica bought Spanish SVOD rights for Movistar +.

“The Raft” is scheduled for release by next year’s first quarter in France via Urban Distribution, in Switzerland by Xenix, and through Modern Films in the U.K., where BBC took broadcast rights.

Also playing at IDFA’s Best of Fest,  Naziha Arebi’s Wide House-sold “Freedom Fields” marks the first feature documentary made by a female Libyan director.

World premiering at Toronto, the documentary is set in post-revolution Libya and follows a group of women who are brought together by one dream: Playing football for their nation.

Wide House is also presenting at IDFA “The Village,” a new TV series by French director Claire Simon, whose first episodes are being shown on Nov. 21, alongside a debate with filmmaker Steve James about storytelling in serialized documentaries.

“The Village” is fruit of an agreement signed by Wide with Claire Simon about two years ago taking in Simon’s previous works, “Graduation” and “Young Solitude.” They are, in Clanet’s words, “a new kind of doc series not based on the sensational but on the ordinary people creating the extraordinary.”

At IDFA, Wide House expects to find new theatrical – especially art and culture – projects for 2019 and 2020 and also to close remaining countries on its 2018 best-sellers, Clanet added.

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