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Playtime Locks Key Pre-Sales on Naomi Kawase’s ‘True Mothers,’ Francois Ozon’s ‘Summer of 85’ (EXCLUSIVE)

True Mothers

Playtime has closed raft of pre-sales to key territories on a pair of anticipated prestige films, Francois Ozon’s “Summer of 85” and Naomi Kawase’s “True Mothers,” after unveiling promo reels of both pics at the EFM in Berlin.

“Summer of 85” has pre-sold to Israel (Lev Cinema), Turkey (Bir Film), Poland (Against Gravity), Spain (Golem),
Belgium (September Film), Switzerland’s (Filmcoopi), Russia (A One), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), Latin America (California Filmes), South Korea (Challan) and Ex-Yugoslavia (MCF). Playtime is currently negotiating deals in other territories around the world.

A coming-of-age love story, “Summer 85” follows 16-year-old Alexis who meets 18-year-old David on the coast of Normandy and feels that he has just met the friend of his dreams.

On top of being directed by Ozon, one of France’s leading auteurs whose last film, “By the Grace of God,” won the Silver Bear in Berlin, the project is a hot seller because it “boasts a sexy score with songs by The Cure, Rod Stewart, RAF, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and Bananarama, and strong performances from talented young actors,” said Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, co-founder and partner at Playtime, referring to the up-and-comers Félix Lefebvre and Benjamin Voisin.

The French exec, who’s been selling Ozon’s films for years, said the director has demonstrated his skills in discovering many young and brilliant actors, such as Ludivine Sagnier and Paula Beer.

Penned by Ozon, the film also stars Philippine Velge, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Melvil Poupaud. Eric and Nicolas Altmayer at Mandarin Production are producing the film.

Playtime has also pre-sold Naomie Kawase’s next film, “True Mothers,” which marks the big comeback of the revered Japanese auteur and is expected to be delivered on time for Cannes. The company introduced the project with a promo reel at the EFM and closed France (Haut et Court), Benelux (Cineart), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes) and Latin America (California Filmes). Japanese outfit Kino Intl. is handling sales in Asia.

Penned by Kawase and based on Mizuki Tsujimura’s bestselling novel of the same name, “True Mothers” tells the story of a young couple, Satoko and her husband, Kiyokazu, who after a long and painful experience with fertility treatment decide to adopt a child. Six years later, they get a threatening phone call from a woman named Hikari, who pretends to be the biological mother of the child and is ready to extort money from them.

Kawase, one of the are Asian female directors with international recognition, was last in Cannes with “Radiance” in 2017.

Playtime is in Berlin with Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s “High Ground” with Simon Baker, which is had its gala premiere on Sunday, and Rithy Panh’s “Irradiated,” playing in competition.

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