×

Indie Sales Launches Brussels-Based Outfit With Directors’ Fortnight Title ‘Oleg’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Indie Sales, the French international sales boutique behind the Oscar-nominated “My Life as a Zucchini” and Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult,” is set to branch out with the launch of Best Friend Forever, a new Brussels-based outfit dedicated to festival-driven world cinema.

Best Friend Forever is kicking off with the acquisition of Juris Kursietis’ sophomore outing, “Oleg,” which will world premiere at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight. The movie follows Kursietis’ feature debut, “Modris,” which received San Sebastian’s special mention for the New Directors Award in 2014.

Produced by Tasse Film (“Dogs Don’t Wear Pants”) with Iota Productions (“Song of the Sea”) and In Script & Arizona Productions (“The Gentle Indifference of the World”), “Oleg” follows the story of a young Latvian butcher who immigrates to Brussels to work at a meat factory, hoping for a better life, but instead quickly falls under the yoke of Andzejs, a Polish criminal.

Best Friend Forever is being launched by Martin Gondre, who worked at Indie Sales for six years as head of marketing and festivals, and entertainment lawyer Charles Bin, who worked at leading Parisian law firm Intervista, with the backing of Indie Sales’ co-founders, Nicolas Eschbach and Eric Névé. Both companies will share an office at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival.

“After six great years at Indie Sales, it feels like a dream come true to launch my company together with my oldest friend Charles, whom I have known for more than 15 years, and even more with a strong and universal Cannes title,” said Gondre.

He said “Oleg” represented the type of movies that Best Friend Forever wants to handle – “fresh and raw talent, at the dawn of their career, with whom we can grow together.” During his tenure at Indie Sales, Gondre worked on more than 60 films, including “The Insult” and “My Life as a Zucchini,” on top of festival-driven titles such as Clément Cogitore’s “Braguino.”

Bin, who has worked on more than 50 feature films and TV series as a lawyer and developed a solid expertise in financing international productions, said ‘Best Friend Forever’ would strive to deliver a service enhanced from the traditional business models of sales agencies, and become a “one-stop-shop” allowing a given project to develop an international scope.

“We consider producers as talents, and want to offer a new range of service alongside a sales activity, from negotiating deals on the best terms, structuring co-productions, or gap financing by acting as an intermediary,” said Bin, who previously trained at the French lending institution Cofiloisirs.

Eschbach said Indie Sales, which will provide Best Friend Forever with back office support, was continuing to grow with the creation of this new banner. “This adds a new asset to Indie Sales’ synergies between sales, production and financing,” said Eschbach, adding that Gondre had been with Indie Sales since the creation of the company.

The Belgian capital offers an appealing tax rebate and a strong pool of producers with very few local sales companies, Gondre and Bin said.

“Brussels makes total sense – Europe’s most important co-production place where the key players have not developed arms for international sales. It’s the perfect place for us, not to mention that we love the city and its producers,” said the pair.

Best Friend Forever will handle 10 films a year. Aside from “Oleg,” the new banner will attend Cannes with a slate including Genevieve Dulude-de Celles’s feature debut, “A Colony,” which won a number of awards, notably the Crystal Bear at Berlin, and three prizes at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. The company will soon be announcing more acquisitions.

More Film

  • 'Patrick Melrose' TV show premiere

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Claire Foy to Star in 'Louis Wain'

    Benedict Cumberbatch (“Avengers: Endgame”) and Claire Foy (“The Crown”) are set to star in “Louis Wain,” a biopic of the prolific English artist who rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century. “Louis Wain” will start shooting on Aug. 10 with BAFTA-nominated Will Sharpe (“Flowers”) directing the film which was written by Sharpe [...]

  • Production Resumes on 'Fast & Furious

    'Fast & Furious 9' Production Resumes, Investigation Into Stuntman Injury Under Way

    Production resumed Tuesday on “Fast & Furious 9,” a day after an accident at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, near London, left a stuntman in hospital. The U.K. agency responsible for workplace safety confirmed that it is now investigating the accident. The stuntman, Joe Watts, was working on a second unit when he sustained head injuries [...]

  • mother

    Director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese: Africa Is ‘In the Process of Becoming’

    DURBAN–From the arresting opening sequence, in which the reflection of a woman carrying a giant wooden cross shimmers across the surface of a lake, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese’s “Mother, I Am Suffocating. This is My Last Film About You” embarks on a poetic journey across an unnamed African landscape. Described by the filmmaker as a “lament,” [...]

  • Promise at Dawn Calcoa

    Colcoa French Film Festival Moves to the Fall With Revamped Format

    Colcoa, the Los Angeles-based French film festival, will be hosting its 23rd edition in September, right before the start of the awards season. Created by the Franco-American Cultural Fund, Colcoa will also be showcasing a more contained lineup focused on film and TV at the Directors Guild of America’s newly-renovated venue. The festival was previously [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen FYSEE Opening Night with

    Bruce Springsteen-Codirected 'Western Stars' Film Will Premiere in Toronto

    “Western Stars,” the film that Bruce Springsteen has made to accompany his recent album of the same name, will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was announced Tuesday. The feature is being listed as a co-directing project between Springsteen and his longtime filmic collaborator, Thom Zimny, who just picked up [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone and Braden Aftergood Balboa

    Sylvester Stallone's Production Company Wants to Be the Blumhouse of Action Films

    “I don’t believe Sylvester Stallone carries around a wallet,” says Braden Aftergood, the executive in charge of scripted development at the movie star’s content company Balboa Prods. It’s not that Sly, as he’s known to friends and fans alike, is trying to duck out on a dinner bill. He never seems to have his license [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content