×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Locarno: Charades Acquires Competition Contender ‘Maternal’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Having seen large success with Cannes Critics’ Week and Annecy Cristal winner “I Lost My Body,” Paris-based Charades has confirmed its acquisition of international sales rights to “Maternal” (“Hogar”), written and directed by Italy’s Maura Delpero.

The awaited fiction feature debut of Delpero, a documentary filmmaker whose won a Donatello Award nomination for dock-feature “Nadja e Sveta,” “Maternal” will world premiere in main international competition at this year’s Locarno Festival, whose lineup was announced this Wednesday morning.

Memento Films Distribution, whose more recent releases include “Une Intime Conviction” and “Everybody Knows,” will handle “Maternal’s” distribution in France.

A second Charades sales title, already announced,“The Girl with a Bracelet,” will also world premiere at Locarno, this time in its  Piazza Grande strand, which highlights potential audience-friendly movies and crossover fare.

Already scooping multiple awards at top development programs, such as the Arte International Prize, adjudicated by Arte France Cinema, at San Sebastian’s 2016 Co-Production Forum, “Maternal” begins with Sister Paola arriving from Italy to take her final vows at “Hogar,” a convent for single teen mothers in Buenos Aires.

She begins to experience a maternal instinct caring for Nina, a little girl, after her flighty mother Lu takes off to live with her boyfriend. Sister Paola cannot repress her joy at a sense of maternity, nor Lu her sexual longing. The center is only really a satisfactory home to a third young woman, Fatima, who, coming from a violent hime where she may well have been raped by her mother’s boyfriend, gives birth to her second child there.

A portrait of various forms of female desire, Delpero has said, “Maternal” questions both religious vocation and maternal instincts, the latter acquiring additional weight in Argentina where abortion remains illegal, apart from in exceptional cases.

CREDIT: Charades

“Maternal” is produced by by Nicolas Avruj and Diego Lerman’s Buenos Aires-based Campo Cine, producer of all Lerman’s movies (“Sheltered,” “A Kind of Family”), Italy’s Vivo Film, headed by Marta Donzelli, producer of “Nico 1988” and Abel Ferrara’s “Siberia,” and a second Italian partner, Alessandro Amatto’s Dispàrte. Rai Cinema, the movie investment arm of the Italian public broadcaster, co-produces.

Charades pre-bought “Maternal” when it was in post-production, said co-founder-partner Carole Baraton.

“We were all mesmerized by Maura’s subtle, authentic and genuine look at these women, her take on the issues of maternity and solidarity and how she managed to address the abortion-rights battle in Argentina without mentioning it,” said Charades’ Jean-Felix Dealberto, Charades sales executive and marketing head, noting that “Maternal” is Charades’ first Italian film.

Jean Labadie’s Le Pacte will distribute in France “A Girl with a Bracelet,” whose choice for the Piazza Grande setting seems highly appropriate. The second full feature by director-producer Stéphane Demoustier, who made his debut in 2014 with “40-Love,” which he followed up with a medium-feature, 2018’s “Cléo & Paul,” which bowed in Berlin Generation 14plus, winning a special mention –   “Girl,” like “40 Love,” melds a strong narrative thrust, high-profile stars, a prestige producer, and a reflection on contemporary parent-children relations, here most especially the generational gulf in sex and social media.

Described by Charades as a psychological mystery drama and coming of age story, “A Girl with a Bracelet” kicks off with 16-year-old Lise, played by newcomer Melissa Guers, being brought in for questioning over the murder of her best friend. She hardly reacts to the news.

Cut to two years later where she stands trial for the crime, begins to confess to a secret life whose sexual details she kept from her parents, while past actions – her death threats against her best friend after a sexting episode – suggest her guilt.

“I felt that they were talking about someone I didn’t know,” the father confesses at one moment, about the trial.

“40-Love” starred Olivier Gourmet, male lead in multiple Dardenne brothers films. In “A Girl with a Bracelet,” Roschdy Zem (“Chocolat,” “Days of Glory”) plays Lise’s protective father, Chiara Mastroianni (“Claire Darling,” “Making Plans for Lena”) her mother, who can’t bear a sense of helplessness at the judicial proceedings.

“The Girl with a Bracelet” is not only a gripping  procedural but, in a second layer, says a lot about coming of age, while becoming a stranger to your family and surroundings,’ said Baraton.

The film is produced by Jean des Fôrets’ Petit Film (“Raw”) and Belgium’s Frakas Productions (“Girl,” “Raw”).

CREDIT: MATTHIEU PONCHEL/Charades

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

  • Breaking Bad Movie

    'Breaking Bad' Movie: Watch the First Teaser for 'El Camino'

    In case you hadn’t heard, Emmy-winning drama “Breaking Bad” is cooking up a movie sequel. On Saturday, after details of Netflix’s project quietly leaked online, the streaming giant issued the first teaser for “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie,” which will be released on October 11. Starring Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the “Breaking Bad” [...]

  • Samara Weaving and Adam Brody Big

    'Ready or Not': That Time Samara Weaving Hit Andie MacDowell in the Face

    Samara Weaving didn’t mean to hurt Andie MacDowell, but she did just that while they were rehearsing for their new horror dark comedy “Ready or Not.” “I hit Andie MacDowell in the face by accident,” Weaving says on this week’s episode of “The Big Ticket,” Variety and iHeart’s movie podcast. “It was horrible. It was [...]

  • Aracne

    Chile’s Sanfic, Mexico’s Morbido Fest Pact to Promote Latino Horror (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexican horror festival Morbido and Chile’s Santiago Intl. Film Festival (Sanfic) have agreed on a long-term collaboration intended to strengthen the genre film industry in Chile and across Latin America. This partnership will see Morbido representatives attend the Sanfic industry section each year to aid in the promotion of horror projects and advise those projects [...]

  • Tom Holland'Spider-Man: Homecoming' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Tom Holland Addresses Spider-Man’s Studio Divorce at D23: ‘I Love You 3000’

    British actor Tom Holland showed face on the main stage at D23 on Saturday, in the thick of an ugly studio battle over the rights to his iconic Marvel character Spider-Man. Headlines have been rolling in for days about the contentious battle for the cinematic future of the hero, after Sony Pictures became unwilling to [...]

  • Soul Movie

    Pixar's 'Soul' Announces Voice Cast: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey to Star

    Disney debuted a first look at upcoming Pixar film “Soul” at the D23 expo in Anaheim, Calif. and announced its star-studded voice cast. “Soul” imagines that every person on earth comes pre-installed with a soul formed and perfected in a cosmic realm. Jamie Foxx will play a middle-school music teacher on earth who dreams of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content