Serra won the Un Certain Regard section’s Special Jury Prize in 2019 for “Liberté” and cracked the festival’s official selection this year with “Pacifiction.”
The film is set on the French Polynesian island of Tahiti, and centers on the High Commissioner of the Republic and French government official, whose role brings him to navigate both the high-end “establishment” and shady venues where he mingles with the locals. Lately, he’s had to contend with a rumor about the sighting of a submarine whose ghostly presence could herald the return of French nuclear testing.
Grasshopper and Gratitude will release the movie in theaters in late 2022.
“Pacifiction” stars Benoît Magimel, Pahoa Mahagafanau, Cécile Guilbert, Matahi Pambrun and Sergi López. It was produced by Serra, Pierre-Olivier Bardet, Montse Triola, Dirk Decker, Andrea Schütte, Joaquim Sapinho, Marta Alves and Laurent Jacquemin. The pic is an Idéale Audience Group, Andergraun Films, Tamtam Film and Rosa Filmes production.
The film’s U.S. deal was negotiated by Ryan Krivoshey, founder of Grasshopper Film, with Julien Razafindranaly of Films Boutique.
“The best film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival this year, featuring an extraordinary and haunting performance by Benoît Magimel, Albert Serra’s ‘Pacifiction’ is a masterpiece,” said Krivoshey. “We are delighted to be partnering with Gratitude Films and working with Films Boutique and the entire filmmaking team on the release of this phenomenal film.”
Gratitude Films founder Anu Rangachar added: “As someone who has always admired Albert Serra’s previous work, I feel very privileged to collaborate with Grasshopper Film in bringing this film to the U.S. audience.”
Variety critic Guy Lodge, in his review of the film, described “Pacifiction” as “an unhurried, 164-minute tropical tour that is sort of about nothing and everything at once. Slender in terms of incident, its drawn-out narrative is nonetheless rife with political tension, observing both the enduring colonialist entitlement of the French Republic territory’s Gallic custodians and the ever-itching resentment felt by its indigenous population — coming to a head under the twin threats of gentrifying development and military destruction.”
Founded in 2015, Grasshopper Film has a 350-title library that includes recent releases such as Tsai Ming-Liang’s “Days,” Sky Hopinka’s “Malni – Towards the Ocean, Towards the Shore,” Pedro Costa’s “Vitalina Varela” and “Drive My Car” director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s “Asako I & II.”
Upcoming releases include Lodge Kerrigan’s “Keane,” Omar El Zohairy’s “Feathers,” and Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s “Rehana.”
Meanwhile, Gratitude Films is a boutique distributor with a special focus on Asian and Indian films. The company is located in Mumbai and Los Angeles. Founder Rangachar recently collaborated with Deaf Crocodile Films in jointly acquiring the North American rights to the Indian art-house award winners “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs” and “The Village House,” which will have their theatrical and digital releases in spring of 2022.