Les Films du Kiosque, the Paris-based production company behind Nicolas Bedos’ Cannes-premiering “La Belle Epoque” and Netflix’ hit original “Family Business,” is set to reteam with Bedos on “Masquarade,” and will produce Mabrouk El Mechri’s “Kung Fu Zohra.”
El Mechri’s film follows Zohra, a young cashier from the suburbs who is being physically abused by her violent husband Omar. Zohra is trying everything she can to shelter her 6-year-old child and sets off to learn how to defend herself. Her life changes after she crosses paths with Chang Sue, a kung fu master who runs the municipal gymnasium. Set to start shooting in March, the film will star Sabrina Ouazani, Ramzy Bedia and Eye Haïdara.
Gaumont has come on board to acquire French distribution and international sales rights to the film.
François Kraus and Denis Pineau-Valencienne founded Les Films du Kiosque. Kraus told Variety that “Kung Fu Zohra” was going to be an authentic martial arts comedy with choreographed fight scenes à la “Kill Bill” and “The Karate Kid.” The producer said “Kung Fu Zohra” was also personal project for El Mechri as it pays tribute to his mother, who also faced domestic violence. A French-Tunisian filmmaker, El Mechri previously directed “Virgil,” “JCVD,” “The Cold Light of Day” and the Canal Plus drama series “Maison Close” and “Nox.”
Bedos’ “Masquerade” is a romantic comedy in the vein of “To Catch a Thief” and “Heartbreaker.”
Bedos’ “La Belle Epoque,” the highly successful French comedy-drama which world premiered out of competition at Cannes, went on to play at Toronto and was nominated for 11 Cesar Awards (France’s equivalent to the Oscars). “La Belle Epoque” was also sold by Pathé Films to more than 50 territories and an English-language remake of the movie is in the works.
The company is getting ready for the French release of Martin Provost’s “La Bonne Epouse” with Juliette Binoche on March 11 and is developing the third season of “Family Business,” the popular Netflix series. Les Films du Kiosque is also expected to resume the production of Emmanuelle Bercot’s “De son vivant” later this year after it was interrupted following the hospitalization of Catherine Deneuve.