The sale reunites Sciamma with Neon, the New York-based independent studio that released her acclaimed drama “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”
Written and directed by Sciamma, “Petite Maman” follows 8-year-old Nelly, who loses her beloved grandmother and goes to help her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods where her mom, Marion, used to play and build the treehouse she’s heard so much about. One day, her mother abruptly leaves. That’s when Nelly meets a girl her own age in the woods building a treehouse. Her name is Marion.
It stars sisters Joséphine and Gabrielle Sanz, as well as Nina Meurisse, Stéphane Varupenne and Margot Abascal.
Variety’s chief film critic Peter Debruge praised the film, calling it “playful” with “touches of magical realism.”
“In their children, parents often see reflections of the kids they once were,” Debruge wrote. “But daughters can’t access those same memories without a little magic. And that’s just what ‘Petite Maman’ delivers: the spell that makes such a reunion possible, if only in our imaginations.”
Bénédicte Couvreur of Lilies Films produced “Petite Maman,” which was shot by cinematographer Claire Mathon, Sciamma’s frequent collaborators. Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for Neon with Fionnuala Jamison of MK2, which is handling international sales.
Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, later earning plaudits from BAFTA, the Golden Globes, the National Board of Review and the Independent Spirit Awards. Her other filmmaking credits include “Tomboy” and “Water Lilies.”