×

Films Boutique Closes France, Japan on ‘Lunana’ (EXCLUSIVE)

LOS ANGELES  — Films Boutique has closed France and Japan on Himalayan crowdpleaser “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” by Bhutanese filmmaker Pawo Choyning Dorji, rolling off its market premiere at the AFM.

French rights on “Lunana” have been acquired by ARP Selection, one of the country’s most prominent art film distributors with a strong line in world cinema. The deal was negotiated between Films Boutique CEO Jean-Christophe Simon and ARP partners Michele Halberstadt and Laurent Pétin.

“The film is an ode to nature, to beauty, to simple and true feelings. We just fell under its spell,” said Halberstadt.

“ARP Selection did such fantastic work with ‘The Story of the Weeping Camel.’ We couldn’t dream of a better home for the film,” Simon added.

Doma Inc, distributor of Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman,” has acquired rights to Japan in a deal negotiated by Films Boutique COO Louis Balsan and Doma CEO Eri Sawaki.

“Lunana” turns on a young teacher in modern Bhutan dispatched in disgrace during his compulsory service to a glacial Himalayan village called Lunana, where he has to teach with no electricity nor textbooks and a stoic yak who’s hares the classroom. He begins to learn of the hardship in the lives of the beautiful children he teaches, and learns from the villagers’ spiritual strength.

Popular on Variety

The film world premiered at the BFI London Film Festival’s family section and in Busan.

The fiction feature directorial debut of director Dorji, producer of “Hema Hema: Sing Me A Song While I Wait,” which played Toronto in 2016, “Lunana” is produced by Dorji AND Stephanie Lai at their Thimphu-based Dangphu Dingphu: 3 Pigs production company.

“Lunana” was shot on-location with non-pro actors at what is said to be the world’s most remote school, located in the Himalayan glaciers at an altitude of 16,500 feet. Due to the remoteness and lack of facilities, the film was shot on solar charged batteries.

More Film

  • Warner Bros. Pictures trailer launch event

    Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jon M. Chu Tease 'In the Heights' Movie

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Jon M. Chu and star Anthony Ramos took the train to the top of the world to offer a sneak peek of “In the Heights,” Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of Miranda’s (other) hit musical. “I’m thrilled we’re here, and I’m thrilled we’re uptown,” Miranda rhapsodized to a packed crowd at a cozy [...]

  • One for the Road

    Wong Kar-wai to Produce 'Bad Genius' Director’s 'One For The Road'

    Wong Kar-wai is producing “One For The Road,” a new film that reunites the director and star of 2017 Thai hit “Bad Genius.” Production in New York and Thailand will begin by the end of the year. The film is a buddy drama and a road movie that sees two old friends who have been [...]

  • Jesse Eisenberg

    Film News Roundup: Jesse Eisenberg to Star in Indie Thriller 'Wild Indian' (EXCLUSIVE)

    In today’s film news roundup, Jesse Eisenberg is starring and exec producing “Wild Indian”; Jason Bateman is directing “Shut In”; “Saturday Night Live” veteran Paula Pell is honored; and the Palm Springs Film Festival sets its opening and closing films. CASTING Jesse Eisenberg is starring in and executive producing the independent thriller “Wild Indian,” Variety [...]

  • disney d23

    Top 19 Media Trends of 2019: Disney's Box Office Dominance

    The domestic box office market share over the last 12 years provides a sobering reminder of how important franchises are to studio performance, especially for Disney. Although the 2019 box office looks to be falling short of the previous year’s total, Disney is ending the decade on the highest possible note, becoming the first studio ever [...]

  • Pierce Brosnan Cinderella

    Pierce Brosnan to Play the King in Camila Cabello's 'Cinderella'

    Pierce Brosnan will play the king opposite Camila Cabello in writer-director Kay Cannon’s new telling of “Cinderella” for Sony Pictures. Billy Porter, Idina Menzel and Nicholas Galitzine are also confirmed to star in the film, which will be released in theaters Feb. 5, 2021. Cabello, a multi-platinum selling and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, will be integrally involved [...]

  • John Boyega

    John Boyega: 'Star Wars' Fandom Conflict Is 'The Most Stupid Thing in the World'

    Unlike his “Star Wars” compatriots Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac, John Boyega enjoys a robust presence on social media, with nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter and over 1.6 million followers on Instagram. He regularly engages with fans, and posts inside looks at his life inside the “Star Wars” media maelstrom. It’s meant that Boyega [...]

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

    'Watchmen' Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Says He Would Consider Playing Superman

    Those who are caught up on “Watchmen” know Yahya Abdul-Mateen II knows how to strike the balance between understated and omnipotent. He’s also no stranger to playing superheroes, as Aquaman’s nemesis Black Manta in the DC Universe. But asked whether he would consider taking on another DC Extended Universe role — Superman — Abdul-Mateen told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content