In the run-up to next month’s Cannes Festival, Cologne-based Media Luna New Films has acquired international rights to “We Had It Coming,” starring Natalie Krill (“Wynonna Earp,” “Below Her Mouth”) and Brazil’s “The Friendly Man,” one of the standouts at Ventana Sur’s strong Copia Final showcase of near-finished Latin American movies.
MK2 Mile End will distribute “We Had It Coming” in Canada; O2 Play, the theatrical, TV and DVD distribution company of Fernando Mereilles’ O2 Filmes production house, will release “The Friendly Man,” now in advanced post-production, in Brazil.
Media Luna will introduce both titles to buyers at next month’s Cannes Film Market.
“We Had It Coming,” the English-language debut of Montreal based Paul Barbeau, and “The Friendly Man,” with Brazilian rock star Paulo Miklos as its male lead, tackle issues which are liable of becoming trending topics at this year’s Cannes Film Market: Women fighting back; men questioning their identity – here their political credo – in a convulsive seemingly irrational world.
Barbeau’s third film, after the work vs. family debut “Winter Passed,” and coming of age tale “We Had Forever,” both made in French, “We Had It Coming” stars Krill as Anna, a women in her 20s, who, with no lawyer willing to to help her, sets out with her girlfriend to find her sister’s pimp and killer, and seek justice.
Described by Media Luna as “an eerie rural thriller-noir,” ”We Had It Coming” was first conceived by Barbeau as having a male protagonist. But he decided on changing the first name, and making the protagonist a woman without editing the script. “At first this felt counter-intuitive,” he commented in a press statement. “But it actually allowed me not to apply any preconceived gender filter to the character and truly make her unique as she is portrayed so powerfully by Natalie Krill.”
Krill lept to fame starring in the steamy LGBTQ erotic romantic drama “Below Her Mouth,” directed by April Mullen and selected for the Toronto Festival in 2016, a role in sharp contrast, as was quickly pointed out, to her Willa Earp in the Syfy supernatural Western TV series. In “We Had It Coming,” she stars next to Alexia Fast, whose credits include the Cannes-premiered “Captive,” by Atom Egoyan and Netflix “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency,” and Erin Agostino (“Murdoch Mysteries”).
Media Luna is “an excellent match considering some of the bolder decisions I made when first conceiving the film,” Barbeau said.
Barbeau “brings an original perspective to the discussion on how society has still a long way to go when it comes to women,” added Media Luna New Films CEO Ida Martins.
From up-and-coming Brazilian writer-director Iberê Carvalho, “The Friendly Man” has a legendary, now 60-something singer in an ‘80s punk rock band defending a young man involved in the accidental murder of a police officer.
Over one long night in Sao Paulo, as a video of the murder goes viral, the rockstar, very recently a legend, becomes one of the most hated men in Brazil, greeted with stony silence in restaurant, assailed in the street by strangers. Over one long night in Sao Paulo, he gets to re-examine his political credos, in a movie which is both a thriller and kind of “After Hours,” said Copia Final co-curator José María Riba.
“The Friendly Man” is written by Carvalho and Pablo Stoll, a leading light of the New Uruguay Cinema, who co-wrote and co-directed is most iconic works, “25 Watts” and Cannes hit “Whisky,” which won an Un Certain Regard Original Award.
“When this film was being written and shot none of us would have imagined that Brazil would elect a far-right candidate as president,” Carvalho stated.
He added: “It is in this Brazil that the story takes place. The emergence of a wave of hatred and intolerance with strong traces of fascism is shown from the point of view of a white, sixty-year-old heterosexual,a rich man who, from his privileged social status, finds himself impotent, without knowing how to react to this reality.”
Miklos starred in Beto Brant’s “The Trespasser,” which won Best Latin American Cinema Award at 2002’s Sundance Festival and swept top prizes at that year’s Miami Festival. Carvalho’s first feature, family drama “The Last Drive-In Theater,” was hailed by critics as one of the top Brazilian movies of 2015.