mk2 films has scored major sales across its slate, including on Céline Sciamma’s female-driven period drama “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” an 18th century-set drama that is expected to premiere in Cannes. Other sales standouts on mK2’s slate include “Arab Blues,” “Varda by Agnes” and “The Whistlers.”
“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” marks Sciamma’s fourth feature after the critically acclaimed “Girlhood,” “Tomboy” and “Water Lilies.” mk2 unveiled first footage from the new movie in Berlin at the European Film Market, and sealed deals for the U.K. (Curzon Artificial Eye), Spain (Karma Films), Benelux (Cinéart), and Sweden (Folkets Bio).
Produced by Lilies Films, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” stars Adèle Haenel (“BPM”) as Heloise, a reluctant bride-to-be who has just left the convent, and follows her relationship with Marianne (Noémie Merlant), a painter who has been commissioned to do her wedding portrait. Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women as they share Heloise’s first and last moments of freedom.
Delivery of the film is expected in the first half of this year, and the movie is expected to world premiere at Cannes Film Festival.
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On top of her career as a writer-director, Sciamma co-founded the 5050×2020 movement in France and has been a driving force behind the signing of gender-parity pledges by major festivals, including Cannes and Berlin.
mk2, whose sales team is headed by Fionnuala Jamison has also sold “Arab Blues,” Manele Labidi’s first feature starring Golshifteh Farahani (“Paterson”). Set in contemporary Tunisia after the Arab Spring, the film follows Selma (Farahani), a psychoanalyst with a cast of colorful clients after she returns home to Tunisia to open a practice.
Produced by Kazak Production, the film has sold to Italy (Bim Distribuzione), Germany (Prokino), Spain (Karma Films), Benelux (Splendid Film), Scandinavia (Njuta Films), Switzerland (Praesens-Film), Israel (Lev Cinemas), Brazil (Imovision), Colombia (Cine Colombia) and Mexico (under negotiation).
mk2 has also racked up sales on Corneliu Porumboiu’s upcoming “The Whistlers” to France (Diaphana Distribution), the U.K. (Curzon Artificial Eye), Switzerland (Bord Cadre Films), South Korea (Line Tree Entertainment), China (Jetsen Huashi), and former Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom).
The film noir stars Vlad Ivanov, whose recent credits include Cristian Mungiu’s “Graduation” and Laszló Nemes’s “Sunset.” 42km Film and Les Films du Worso are producing the feature, due for delivery in the first half of 2019. mk productions is also on board as co-producer.
In addition, mk2 films has sold “Varda by Agnes,” directed French New Wave director Agnès Varda, sold to Scandinavia (Non-Stop Entertainment), Poland (Against Gravity), Former Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom), Portugal (Midas Filmes), Israel (United King Films Ltd.), China (iQIYI), Hong Kong (Edko Films Ltd.) and Taiwan (Sky Digi Entertainment). The documentary is premiering out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with such a wide range of excellent distributors who have shown immediate enthusiasm about our slate, and are proud to know that audiences worldwide will be treated to vibrant stories expertly told.” said Juliette Schrameck, mk2 films’ managing director.