×

Films Boutique (“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom”) has acquired international sales rights to Vincent Kelner’s cinematic documentary feature “A Taste of Whale” ahead of the European Film Market.

“A Taste of Whale” is produced by Rémi Grellety, the Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning producer of Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro” and HBO’s “Exterminate All The Brutes.”

The film looks at the centuries-old tradition of whale hunting in the Faroe Islands. Every year, nearly 1,000 pilot whales are hunted, beached and killed by knife in the fjords. This local whaling tradition, which is known locally as “grind,” dates back to the eighth century and has been denounced by international activists. On the other end, Faroese people are calling out the hypocrisy of those who eat meat without looking at what is happening in slaughterhouses.

Kelner, an experienced journalist and cinematographer who has worked on several TV productions in France and abroad, said he “wanted to rely on the specific circumstances of the Faroe Islands to reflect on a significant, global issue of our time.”

“In presenting the perspectives of both whalers and activists, I wanted the audience to bear witness to the ‘Grind’ and to confront a practice that’s too often taken for granted: in order to get meat on the table someone has to kill a living being,” said the French writer-director. He said the film “questions the way we humans across the world generate our food, and more particularly our meat consumption.” “A Taste of Whale” is his second documentary feature.

Films boutique, the Berlin-based outfit whose past credits include “Embrace of the Serpent” and “Charlatan,” is now handling international sales on “A Taste of Whale” and will introduce it to buyers on-site and online at the EFM. ICM Partners represents the film in North America and is currently negotiating a domestic deal. “A Taste of Whale” is expected to have its premiere at a spring festival.

Grellety said he was “very impressed with Vincent’s approach which essentially was to consider the global audience members as grown-ups; inviting them to see past preconceived positions – and also past the blood! – to eventually form their own opinion.”

Gabor Greiner, COO of Films Boutique, said the film delivers a “fascinating look at the Faroe Islands, their breathtaking landscapes and their traditions in which whales form an essential part of Faroese life.”

Greiner explained the film is “very timely as it questions the complex situations between the local visions on their traditions.”

At the EFM, Films Boutique’s prestige slate also includes two Berlinale Panorama titles “Talking About The Weather” by Annika Pinske; as well as Max Walker-Silverman’s “A Love Song” which just played at Sundance and was acquired by Sony’s Stage 6 and Bleecker Street. The company will also host the market premiere of “Gentle” László Csuja and Anna Nemes at the EFM. Also on Films Boutique’s roster are Peter Kerekes’s “107 Mothers;” Bretten Hannam’s “Wildhood;” “The Devil’s Drivers” by Daniel Carsenty & Mohammed Abugeth; and Loup Bureau’s “Trenches” which played out of competition.

Lazy loaded image
“A Taste of Whale”