Jean-Luc Godard, the subject of a film showcase at this year’s Lumière Film Festival in Lyon that includes his latest film, “The Image Work,” remains a hot commodity for Paris-based sales group Wide.
The company, which is attending the fest’s International Classic Film Market with a strong heritage film lineup, recently signed a number of new deals for Godard’s 1962 drama “Vivre sa vie” in major markets in Asia. Wide sold the newly restored 4K version of “Vivre sa vie,” which stars Anna Karina, to Japan’s Zazie Film and Alto Media in South Korea as well as to the China Film Archive.
“We see that the Asian market is really looking into the classics,” said Maxime Montagne, Wide’s head of business affairs and acquisitions, noting that China in particular is looking to put together a catalog of important classics.
The China Film Archive also picked up Wide’s newly-restored 2K edition of Max Ophuls’ 1955 drama “Lola Montes,” starring Martine Carol and Peter Ustinov.
Due in part to continuing celebrations and special events commemorating the civil unrest that rocked France in May 1968 – a momentous occasion that left an indelible mark on the country – Wide is seeing great interest in its recently released restored version of “Mai 68, la Bell Ouvrage,” by Jean-Luc Magneron (father of Wide founder and CEO Loïc Magneron).
The documentary, which originally screened at Cannes’ 1969 Directors’ Fortnight, has played at a number of events this year marking the 50th anniversary of the turmoil, which was marked by demonstrations, massive strikes by workers and students and the occupation of factories and universities.
The film, described by Montagne as “a rare and unique testimony of [the events of] May 1968,” was showcased in April at La Cinémathèque in Paris as part of its 1969 Directors’ Fortnight retrospective.
It also screened at New York’s Metrograph in June as part of the theater’s May ’68: The Struggle Continues series and unspools in November at La Citta Del Cinema in Rome.
Wide’s lineup of restored classic films includes such works as Henry-Georges Clouzot’s “Manon”; Henry Decoin’s “Les Intrigantes”; Maurice Lehmann’s “Fric-Frac” and Jean Renoir’s “La Chienne” in addition to works by Alain Resnais, Claude Lelouch, Francois Reichenbach and Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene.
In addition to its heritage film business, the leading independent sales company represents more than 20 first-run feature films a year and boasts a library of nearly 1,000 films and documentaries.
Wide has closed a brace of deals for Darko Štante’s hard-hitting Slovenian drama “Consequences,” which screened in Toronto’s Discovery sidebar this year. The film, which stars Matej Zemljic as a troubled teenager, has sold to Epicentre in France, Salzgeber in Germany and Peccadillo in the U.K.
The company recently acquired French thriller “Versus,” François Valla’s feature film debut; and Ecuadorian helmer Gabriela Calvache’s “La Mala Noche” (“The Longest Night”), likewise a first feature, which will screen at this year’s Ventana Sur market in Buenos Aires.
In addition, Wide currently has three films in the running for the best foreign-language Oscar shortlist: Teemu Nikki’s “Euthanizer” for Finland; Gjorce Stavreski’s Macedonian title “Secret Ingredient”; and Blerta Zeqiri’s “The Marriage” for Kosovo.”