Popular French theater director Jean-Christophe Meurisse is making his sophomore film outing with “Bloody Oranges,” a black comedy headlined by Denis Podalydès (“La Belle Epoque”), Blanche Gardin (“Delete History”) and Christophe Paou (“Synonyms”).

Brussels-based outfit Best Friend Forever has acquired international sales rights to the film, which is produced by Rectangle Prods. “(“It Must Be Heaven,” “Climax”) and Mamma Roman.

“Bloody Oranges” marks Meurisse’s follow-up to “Apnee,” which premiered in Cannes Critics’ Week in 2016. Meurisse is also a well-known figure in the world of theater, having launched the Chiens de Navarre theater troupe.

“Bloody Oranges” takes place in contemporary France and weaves the stories of a retired couple overwhelmed by debt trying to win a dance contest, a minister of economy who is suspected of tax evasion, a teenage girl coming across a sexual maniac and young lawyer trying to climb the social ladder. When the shoe drops, the winner won’t necessarily be the one we expected.

The cast is completed by Alexandre Steiger (“Alice and the Mayor”), Vincent Dedienne (“The Rose Maker”), Olivier Saladin (“Apnee”) and Lorella Cravotin (“Romantics Anonymous”). French distributor The Jokers will release the film in France later this year.

“’Bloody Oranges’ masterfully manages to capture the frustrations and injustices of today society, even more in a locked-down world,” said Martin Gondre and Charles Bin, Best Friend Forever’s co-founders.

“It is wild and accurate, funny and exhilarating. It’s the right film just a the right moment,” said the partners.

Best Friend Forever’s Berlinale slate also includes two Panorama titles, Egyptian helmer Ayten Amin’s “Souad,” which was part of Cannes 2020’s Official Selection, and Hadas Ben Aroya’s “All Eyes Off Me.”

The company’s EFM titles include Lenny and Harpo Guit’s “Mother Schmuckers” which just premiered at Sundance Midnight, and “I Comete — A Corsican Summer,” winner of the Special Jury Award at Rotterdam. Best Friend Forever launched in Cannes 2019 and is a sister company of Paris-based Indie Sales.