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IFC Films Buys Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche Drama ‘The Truth’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Ethan Hawke co-stars in Hirokazu Kore-eda's followup to his Oscar-nominated "Shoplifters."

Juliette Binoche
FILIP SINGER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

IFC Films has acquired North American rights to “The Truth,” Hirokazu Kore-eda’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated and Palme d’Or-winning “Shoplifters,” Variety has learned.

The deal was announced at the Berlin Film Festival and comes after an active Sundance for IFC — one in which the indie label picked up rights to the Keira Knightley thriller “Official Secrets” and Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale.”

“The Truth” brings together two icons of French cinema, Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, for the the first time on the big screen. It co-stars Ethan Hawke. In a bit of art imitating life, the film centers on Fabienne (Deneuve), a legendary movie star renowned for her talent and beauty. Despite her professional success, Fabienne has a strained relationship with her daughter Lumir (Binoche), a screenwriter. Things reach a boiling point after Lumir and her husband (Hawke) return to Paris and Fabienne publishes a memoir. Instead of a warm reunion, their meeting devolves into a brutal session of truth telling and resentment airing. “The Truth” marks Kore-eda’s first film outside his native Japan — it is told in French and English.

“This film is a love letter to the actress Catherine Deneuve and also it is a story about the acting, a story about a truth and a lie, and a story about a conflict and a reconciliation between mother and daughter,” Kore-eda said in a statement. “It was a really happy experience for me to make a film together with gems of casts from France and USA.”

It’s a reunion of sorts between the director and the distributor. It will be the fourth time IFC Films has released one of Kore-eda’s works. It previously released “Still Walking,” “Nobody Knows,” and “Like Father, Like Son.” IFC has also collaborated with much of the cast, working several times with Hawke (“Boyhood,” “Blaze,” “Chelsea Walls,” “Seymour: An Introduction”) and Binoche (“Non-Fiction,” “Let the Sunshine In,” “Clouds of Sils Maria,” “Summer Hours,” “Paris”). The studio also released “A Christmas Tale,” which starred Deneuve.

Binoche is an Oscar winner for “The English Patient,” Deneuve was nominated for “Indochine,” and Hawke is a four-time nominee, having been recognized for the likes of “Boyhood” and “Training Day.”

In a statement, IFC Films said, “‘The Truth’ undoubtedly blends the finest talent working in cinema from across the globe today and we could not be more excited to present the film to North American audiences. Director Kore-eda, Catherine, Juliette, and Ethan are all long-standing members of IFC family and it is a dream come true to partner with talent of such regard on one project.”

Kore-eda also wrote “The Truth.” The film is produced by Muriel Merlin and coproduced with Miyuki Fukuma (Bunbuku), Matilde Incerti (MI Movies). Wild Bunch is handling international sales. The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, exec VP of acquisitions and productions at IFC Films, and Eva Diederix, head of international sales at Wild Bunch and CAA Media Finance.

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