Charades has closed a raft of sales on the French comedy “The Speech” which is part of Cannes 2020’s Official Selection and is screening at Cannes’ virtual Marché du Film.

“The Speech” is adapted from Fabcaro’s novel “Le discours,” and is directed by Laurent Tirard, the popular French helmer of “Little Nicholas” and “Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia.” The movie is one of five comedies which are part of Cannes’ official selection.

“The Speech” tells the story of Adrien, who is going through an existential crisis and is about to get dumped by his girlfriend. During a family dinner, Adrien is asked to prepare a speech for the wedding ceremony of his sister and brother in-law. As he starts imagining what he would say, Adrien’s mind gets lost in a flurry of hilarious thoughts and twisted memories about his family.

In spite of the current coronavirus crisis and the uncertain landscape for theatrical distributors, Charades was able to sell “The Speech” to Spain (A Contracorriente), Italy (I Wonder Pictures), Australia and New Zealand (Madman), Greece (Weird Wave), Portugal (Lusomundo), Poland (Gutek),Israel (New Cinema), Hungary (Mozinet), Czech Rep & Slovakia (Aerofilms), Romania (Voodoo), Ex-Yougoslavia (Megacom), Baltics (A One), CIS (Exponenta) and Taiwan (Av-jet).

Jean-Félix Dealberto, Charades’ sales and co-production manager, said the film was able lure cautious buyers due to the fact that it’s a “sophisticated romantic comedy with a high concept which is different from classical French comedies.”

“Laurent Tirard brought a commercial touch and a mise-en-scene that is truly original. It’s very feel-good which fits well with distributors’ needs, as well as audiences’ considering the difficult period we’re going through,” said Dealberto.

Charades previously pre-sold “The Speech” to Switzerland (Filmcoopi) and Benelux (Cineart). Tirard is the well-known French helmer of “Little Nicholas” and “Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia.”

“The Speech” is produced by Les Films Sur Mesure and will be released in France by Le Pacte. It stars Benjamin Lavernhe and Sara Giraudeau.