IFC Films Buys Jacques Audiard’s ‘Paris, 13th District’; Playtime Closes Sales in Key Markets (EXCLUSIVE)

Director Jacques Audiard on the set
Courtesy of Shanna Besson

IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights to Jacques Audiard’s upcoming film “Paris, 13th District” (Les Olympiades) during the virtual European Film Market. The movie was shot in the French capital during the pandemic.

Playtime, which represents the film in international markets, has also closed sales in most major territories around the world, including U.K. (Curzon), Canada (MK2 Mile End), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Japan (Longride), South Korea (Challan), Benelux (Cineart), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Ex-Yugoslavia (MCF), Poland (Gutek Film), as well as Czech Republic and Slovakia (Aerofilms). Both EFM and the Berlin Film Festival have gone online this year as a concession to COVID-19.

IFC previously worked with Audiard on his last French-language film, the Palme d’Or winning “Dheepan.” The movie was penned by Audiard, Léa Mysius (“Ava”) and Celine Sciamma, whose latest film “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” won best screenplay at Cannes 2019 and earned a Golden Globe nomination.

“Jacques and Céline Sciamma are two of the most visionary filmmakers in the industry, and the collaboration of talent across the board is simply tremendous,” said Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films. “Everything about ‘Paris, 13th District’ is what excites us most about cinema.”

Set in Paris’s 13th District, the film follows Emilie, Camille, Nora and Amber — four young adults who are friends and sometimes lovers. “Les Olympiades” is based on New Yorker cartoonist Adrian Tomine’s “”Killing and Dying,” a collection of graphic short stories. “Paris, 13th” is headlined by fresh new talent, including Lucie Zhang, Makita Samba and Jehnny Beth, as well as Noémie Merlan, who starred opposite Adele Haenel in “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”

“‘Paris, 13th District’ tells a beautiful love story grounded in the 21st century, and speaks about the way men and women relate to each other today, and apprehend their own gender, feelings, sexuality and the concept of fidelity,” said Nicolas Brigaud-Robert at Playtime.

“Paris, 13th District” mark Audiard’s follow-up to “The Sisters Brothers,” a period film starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal. “The Sisters Brothers” won Audiard the best director nod at Venice in 2018 and went on to play at San Sebastian. Audiard most recently wrote and directed the last two episodes of the fifth season of “The Bureau.” Some of his best-known film credits include “A Prophet” with Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup; “Read My Lips” with Emmanuelle Devos and Vincent Cassel; and “Rust and Bone” with Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts.

“Paris, 13th District” is produced Audiard and Valérie Schermann through their Paris-based banner Page 114. Memento will release the movie in France.

The deal for the film was negotiated by Bocco and Brigaud-Robert.