The leading sales, finance and production outfit Beta Cinema will present first footage from the upcoming Australian comedy drama “How to Please a Woman” at next week’s Pre-Cannes Screenings. Variety has been given the first still from the film, starring Sally Phillips, whose credits include the “Bridget Jones’s Diary” movies, and a recurring guest role as the Finnish Prime Minister in “Veep.” The Munich-based firm will show five completed films during the virtual event.
In “How to Please a Woman” Phillips plays a woman in middle age who feels she has become “invisible to everyone.” The film follows her as she learns how to ask for what she wants and encourages other women to do the same. She sets up a house cleaning service, staffed by good-looking male cleaners, with benefits.
Other cast include Erik Thomson (“The Black Balloon,” “The Furnace”), Alexander England (“Alien: Covenant”), and Caroline Brazier (“Three Summers,” “Rake”). The director and writer is Renée Webster.
Of the completed films, historical thriller “Hinterland” by Stefan Ruzowitzky – best known for Oscar winner “The Counterfeiters” – will be shown in two buyer only screenings. Anticipation on this title is high, Beta’s Thorsten Ritter tells Variety. “Ruzowitzky is such a versatile filmmaker and with this film he combines his thriller genre sensitivities from ‘Anatomy’ or ‘Cold Hell’ with a huge historical setting and influences of German expressionism such as ‘Dr. Caligari.’ And he accomplishes all of that by having shot against green screen recreating the post-war Vienna of 1920 with CGI,” he says.
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“Toubab,” another market premiere, is produced by Schiwago Film in Berlin, the team behind “Styx,” “Lara” and “Oh Boy.” “They are really good at discovering German talent and Florian Dietrich certainly is a director to watch,” Ritter says. “Toubab” deals with “serious topics such as the deportation of ‘immigrants,’ even though they are German-born, but he’s tackling it here with a great sense of humor, and two trouble-making best friends at the core of the story.” The film will also play at the German Previews that run parallel to the Cannes Pre-Screenings, and has already won a Bavarian Film Prize for the lead actors.
“Libertad” is the final market premiere, and the standalone feature film from the series of the same name by Enrique Urbizo, who directed the series “Gigantes.” It is a Western set in Spain in the early 1800s.
Beta will be revealing the other titles on its Cannes sales slate soon.