Studiocanal Near Sells Out ‘Love at Second Sight,’ Rolls Out ’Someone, Somewhere,’ ‘Samsam’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Studiocanal Sells ‘Love at Second Sight,’

Studiocanal has sold near all of the world outside the U.S. on Hugo Gélin’s “Love at Second Sight.” The European production-distribution-sales giant, part of Vivendi’s Canal Plus Group, has also kicked off promising sales on a panoply of new foreign-language titles, such as  Yvan Attal’s “My Dog Stupid,” Cedric Klapisch’s “Someone Somewhere” and animated feature “Samsam.”

“Our mission at Studiocanal is to ensure we make high-quality European cinema with strong global potential,” said Anna Marsh, Studiocanal EVP, international distribution.

Described by Marsh as a “key title, a high concept movie which really appeals.” “Love at Second Sight” stars François Civil as a young best-selling novelist who forgets the love of his life in one world to wake up in another where she’s a world-famous pianist who’s never met him.

Combining large ambition, a questioning take on gender equality in relationships, and a director whose 2017 debut, Omar Sy starrer  “Two is a Family,” earned an eye-catching €62 million ($67.9 million) outside France in 2017, “Love at Second Sight” has sold to near all major markets including Japan (Happinet), Italy (M2), Spain (Vertugo), CIS (Exponenta), South Korea (Cree Pictures), China (Alibaba).

Studiocanal runs its direct distribution operations in the U.K., France, Germany and Australia/New Zealand.

Introduced at Berlin off a first promo, Klapisch’s contempo Paris-set “Someone, Somewhere” about two lovelorn 30-years-olds whose are made for but don’t know each other, was picked up in Singapore (Shaw), Portugal (Lusomundo), Taiwan (Filmware) and Brazil (Imovision) as well as Israel and Poland, with a deal in Canada in negotiations.

Studiocanal has “two incredibly romantic love stories that, with the emotional journey French films take you on, seems to be what audiences around the world want to see out of a French movie,” said Marsh.

Of recent Studiocanal movies that have cut distributed deals for most, near all or all the world, Marsh cites “The Lost Prince,” “In Safe Hands,” “Mia and the White Lion,” “Sink or Swim” and “One Nation One King.”

To star Yvan Attal (”My Wife is An Actress) and Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Melancholia,” “21 Grams” ), and sold off just a screenplay at the EFM, “My Dog Stupid” adapts John Fante’s cult novel, turning on a middle-aged write who remains faith in himself and his family when he strikes up an unconventional friendship with a stray dog.

Studiocanal pre-sold nine territories at the EFM, including Singapore (Shaw), Israel (Forum), Greece (Spentzos), Latin America (Impacto), as well as Czech Republic (Cinemart), Hungary (Cinetel) and Spain (BTeam), with Canada in negotiations.

“It is really quite unusual to sell a French movie based on a script. It’s a testament to the quality of the story and the concept, cast and Yvan Attal’s upcoming direction.”

Starring Benoit Poelvoorde (“Sink or Swim”) and Valerie Bonneton (“Little White Lies”), produced by Mandarin Production (“Saint Laurent”) and based on a feel-good French best-seller which sees the eccentric but endearing Chamadot family take off in their caravan for Venice, “Venice Calling” has closed Greece (Tanweer), Portugal (Lusomundo), South Korea (Company L), China (Vision), Switzerland (Frenetic), Morocco (Golden), French Overseas (Trident and ICC) and the Middle East (Salim Ramia).

“It’s got a feel of ‘Little Miss Sunshine,’ a road movie across beautiful parts of Europe and a coming of age story where a boy learns not to be embarrassed about his poor but happy family,” Marsh commented.

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From Why Not Productions, producer of “A Prophet” and “Of Gods and Men,” psychological thriller “The Perfect Nanny,” starring Karin Viard, was licensed to Singapore (Shaw), CIS and Baltics (Volga), Hong Kong (Bravos) with a deal in Poland in the works. Before the EFM, Studiocanal clinched Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Frenetic), Greece (Spentzos), Portugal (Lusomundo), Israel (Re Cape), Latin America (Gussi), South Korea (Playlist) and Taiwan (Caichang).

“We definitely have loyal distributors who buy from us one market to the next. Being distributors ourselves, we really deliver in terms of marketing materials, giving that extra service to our distributors,” she added, citing a Aardman presentation of the upcoming “Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmaggedon” at Berlin.

Many of its productions – such as “Samsam” and “Benjamin the Elephant” –  target families, an underserved audience when it comes to European production.

“The first thing we ask is: ‘Who is the audience? Who is it worldwide?’” Marsh said.

One of Europe’s foremost family entertainment companies, producers, at Berlin Studiocanal also bowed quick first sales on “Samsam,” a tot targeting weeny superhero adventure.

From producer Didier Brunner, whose films have scored five Oscar nominations, and “Despicable Me” animation studio Mac Guff, Tanguy de Kermel’s “Samsam,” was sold to Greece (Odeon), Scandinavia (Svensk), and Portugal (Lusomundo), as well as CIS and the Baltics (Volga) and Taiwan (Caichang), with deals for Singapore, Switzerland, Middle East and Turkey in negotiations.

Samsam was “brilliantly received,” said Marsh, suggesting buyers are sway by clips screened, the notoriety of the brand and involvement of Didier Brunner’s Folivari and Mac Guff.

The TV series has sold to 50-plus countries.

Studiocanal will close with a North American distributor this week on Tim Trachte’s “Benjamin the Elephant,” a CGI/live action hybrid based on the popular German kids franchise, Marsh said.’

Positioned as the German ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ and beautifully shot with beautiful young actors,” saw a bidding war in Italy with M2 winning out.

Said Marsh: “Young people are a bit more used to watching foreign language, and some of the platforms have also fore-fronted that. We find our clients are more and more open to foreign-language because of that.”

Of recent Studiocanal movies that have cut distributed deals for most, near all or all the world, Marsh cites “The Lost Prince,” “In Safe Hands,” “Mia and the White Lion,” “Sink or Swim” and “One Nation One King.”

“The market was very slow to start but picked up as of Sunday morning,” Marsh said of the 2019 EFM. “While it needed a bit of time to take off, buyers were definitely there to come home with good movies in their suitcase.”