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Ahead of its world premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, “Lost Illusions,” Xavier Giannoli’s $17.5 million period film, has already lured major buyers in key territories for Gaumont.

Produced by Olivier Delbosc (“Renoir,” “The Midwife”), “Lost Illusions” is a modern adaptation of Honoré de Balzac’s masterpiece starring Benjamin Voisin (“Summer of 85”), Cecile de France (“The Young Pope”), Vincent Lacoste (“Victoria”), Gerard Depardieu, Xavier Dolan and Jeanne Balibar (“Les Miserables”).

Gaumont, which is co-producing and handling international sales, has pre-sold the movie for Latin America (California), Canada (Les Films d’Opale), Spain (A Contracorriente), Benelux (Cineart), Bulgaria (Cine Libri), China (Huanxi), South Korea (Contents Gate), former Yugoslavia (MCF), Israel (LEV), Italy (I Wonder), New Caledonia (Trident), Portugal (Nos Lusomundos), Romania (Independenta), Switzerland (Pathé), Taiwan (Avjet) and Russia/CIE
(White Nights).

“Lost Illusions” revolves around Lucien de Rubempré (Voisin), a young, lower-class poet who is madly in love with the baroness Louise de Bargeton. The risk of scandal forces them to flee to Paris, where they could live freely, but Lucien is abandoned by the baroness and finds himself alone and penniless, until he meets a young journalist who takes him under his wing. “Lost Illusions” is one of best-known novels written by Balzac, who still ranks as the world’s most published French author.

The film boasts the costume designer Piers-Jean Larroque (“Marguerite”) and the cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne (“Coco Before Chanel”).

Giannoli’s past credits include “Marguerite,” a critical and commercial hit that sold in more than 45 territories and also had its world premiere at Venice.

“Lost Illusions’ charts the rise and fall of this character who is on a journey to climb the social ladder and is confronted with the harsh world of the French aristocracy,” said Alexis Cassanet, Gaumont executive VP of international sales and distribution. “In many ways, this film illustrates Giannoli’s passion for Martin Scorsese’s cinema,” added Cassanet.

The film will also play at the San Sebastian Film Festival and will be released in theaters in France by Gaumont on Oct. 20.