TF1 Studio has scored a raft of sales on Mohamed Hamidi’s comedy “New Biz in the Hood,” which just won the Audience Award at the Alpe d’Huez International Comedy Film Festival.
“New Biz in the Hood” marks Hamidi’s follow-up to “One Man and His Cow,” which grossed more than $10 million and was nominated for a European Film Award in 2016.
The film stars popular French actor-director Gilles Lellouche (“Sink or Swim”) as Fred Bartel, a Paris entrepreneur who has just won the contract of a lifetime, but government inspectors are threatening to shut down his company for tax fraud. Fred and his trendy, pampered team have to move the business to an underprivileged suburb on the outskirts of Paris, where he unexpectedly bonds with Samy, a local wheeler-dealer who shows him around the neighborhood.
Lellouche stars opposite up-and-coming actors Malik Bentalha (“One Man and his Cow”), Sabrina Ouazani (“Taxi 5”) and Camille Lou.
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TF1 Studio has sold the film to Canada (Les Films Opale), Germany and Austria (Weltkino), Spain (Flins y Piniculas), Belgium, the Netherlands (Vertigo), Switzerland (Pathe Suisse), Portugal (Lusomundo), Israel (Eden) and Morroco (Cine Atlas). Discussions are ongoing in Italy, Greece and Poland.
“We are delighted with the success of this feel-good societal comedy,” said Sabine Chemaly, executive VP of international sales at TF1 Studio. “The film describes two opposite worlds: the privileged ones, who were born at the right place, got the right jobs, and the other ones who were not, and who may not get the same future.”
Chemaly added that “the film not only delightfully plays with prejudices on both sides to better denounce them but also prove that, when those two worlds get the chance to meet, it can deliver the best.”
“New Bizz in the Hood” is produced by Nicolas Duval at Quad, the banner behind “Heartbreaker” and “The Intouchables”; Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (“The Intouchables,” “C’est la Vie”) who are producing through their outfit Ten films; and French comedian Jamel Debbouze, who is producing through his company, Kissfilms.
The win at the Alpe d’Huez festival bodes well for the movie’s commercial career in France and abroad. Previous winners of the Audience Award at the Alpe d’Huez fest include “Papa ou Maman,” “Babysitting,” “Our Happy Days” and “All That Glitters.”
“New Biz in the Hood” will be released in France by Mars Film and TF1 Studio on Feb. 27.