SND, the commercial arm of French TV network M6, is set to kick off international sales this fall on “Kandisha” and newly-acquired family movie “Pil’s Adventures,” beginning at the Sitges Film Festival and the virtual AFM market.
“Pil’s Adventures” is a CGI animated feature produced by TAT Productions, the well-established French banner behind “The Jungle Bunch” and “Terra Willy.” Now in production, the film was pitched at Cartoon Movie and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021. In the absence of a physical market, SND will introduce “Pil’s Adventures” to buyers this month with the script, a 10-minute clip of first footage and a print presentation of all the characters, backdrops and production.
Directed by Julien Fournet, the film follows the adventures of Pil, a brave, orphaned young girl who lives in the medieval city of Misty Rock. One day, a cruel regent curses Roland, the heir to the throne, forcing Pil to embark on a quest to find the antidote to save his life and safeguard the kingdom.
“Since the film is due for a French release in one year, we feel it’s the right time to launch sales and unveil the elements to buyers this month,” said Charlotte Boucon, head of international sales at SND. “Of course, we enormously miss being there at markets and festivals in person, but we are adapting because the independent market needs good movies for next year.”
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The executive said “TAT has the ability to deliver high-concept family adventures with a global appeal.” For example, “The Jungle Bunch” was one of the most popular French productions worldwide in 2017, and “Terra Willy” travelled to 80 countries and was one of the biggest French titles at the international box office in 2019. SND will handle French distribution and is co-producing “Pil’s Adventures” with France 3 Cinema.
Elsewhere, SND will also bow sales on Julien Maury and Alexandre Bustillo’s French horror movie “Kandisha,” which is set to world premiere in competition at Sitges. In order to build some momentum, SND will host a virtual premiere screening of the film on Oct. 16 for buyers via the platform Privio, taking place at the same time as the gala premiere in Sitges. Buyers can watch the film on Privio for three days.
“Kandisha” marks the fifth movie from Maury and Bustillo, the directing duo behind acclaimed horror films “Inside,” which played at Cannes’ Critics Week, and “Livid.”
An original twist on the exorcism genre, “Kandisha” is set during the summer break and revolves around friends Amélie, Bintou and Morjana. When Amélie is assaulted by her ex, she remembers the story of Kandisha, a powerful and vengeful demon. Afraid and upset, she summons her, and the next day, her ex is found dead. Soon, Kandisha is let loose on a killing spree and the three girls will do anything to break the curse.
“’Kandisha’ is very much in line with our previous movies themes. We love exploring the transition from childhood to adulthood as much as we love offering a new take on the genre, playing with the horror canvas and adding a twist,” said Maury and Bustillo.
“‘Kandisha’ is, as our previous works, a female-driven horror movie. Our three characters are very strong and independent. Stepping in the footsteps of Béatrice Dalle (‘Inside’) and Chloé Coulloud (‘Livid’), our three up and coming actors will definitively make an impression,” added the filmmakers.
Boucon said the “movie’s themes, modernity and strong female characters will speak to the international audience.”
SND has been active on the distribution front even since theaters in France reopened in late June, and it has paid off. The company did well with the re-release of “De Gaulle,” the period film about the former French President Charles de Gaulle, which was playing when theaters shut down; as well as Michael Youn’s popular comedy “The Divorce Club” which won the top prize at the Alpe d’Huez festival, and the youth-skewing comedy “Les blagues de Toto.” These films turned out to rank among the highest-grossing French movies of 2020.
“Our strategy through this pandemic is to keep going; we buy, we produce, we sell and we are looking ahead. The success of our movies in theaters and the ways in which we have adapted our way of working reflects the resilience of the movie business,” declared Boucon.
SND has two upcoming releases, Nicolas Vanier’s family adventure “Poly,” set for later this month, and Alexandre Astier’s anticipated period comedy “Kaamelott,” which will be given a wide release in November.