Music Box Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Alice Winocour’s heartfelt drama “Paris Memories” which world premiered at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight and had a gala screening at Toronto. It’s one of the five finalists for France’s official submission to the 95th Academy Awards.
The critically acclaimed film stars Virginie Efira as Mia, a survivor of a terrorist attack similar to the one that hit Paris venues, including the Bataclan concert hall and several bistros, in November 2015. Three months after the tragedy, Mia still feels unable to pick her life back up so she sets off to investigate her memories, hoping to find a way back to happiness.
The film has a personal resonance for Winocour whose own brother was at Bataclan on that fateful night of Nov. 13 and survived the assault. Winocour wrote the script in collaboration with Marcia Romano and Jean-Stéphane Bron. Isabelle Madelaine and Émilie Tisné produced the film. Variety’s Guy Lodge wrote in his review that “the drama, while fictionalized, channels post-Bataclan sentiment with tact and humanity.”
Efira, who ranks as France’s most in-demand star, introduced the film at Toronto with a moving speech saying that “Alice Winocour found a very fair and honest approach to this tragedy that we unfortunately all know about .” The actor also alluded to the trial that recently wrapped in Paris during which victims shared their testimonies with “the dignity, the courage and the solidarity contained in them.”
The U.S. deal was negotiated by Brian Andreotti from Music Box Films and Pathé Films’ Marie-Laure Montironi, Executive Vice President, International Sales. Pathé also distributed Winocour’s latest feature film “Proxima” which starred Eva Green and Matt Dillon, and received the special jury prize in 2020 at San Sebastian.
The film was released in theaters in France, Belgium and Switzerland last week and has been having a healthy run.