Paris-based sales agent WTFilms, which specializes in genre movies, is presenting Romain Quirot’s sophomore feature film, “Apache: Gang of Paris,” at the Unifrance Rendez-Vous in Paris.
The pic is an ambitious revenge movie set in early 20th century Paris, when rival gangs were wreaking havoc. The term apache was coined in Paris at the time, to describe street gangs. “It’s a modern stylish and raw revenge movie,” says WTFilms’ Gregory Chambet. “We hope it will offer a renewal of the French action thriller genre, as Christophe Gans did with ‘Brotherhood of the Wolves’.”
Quirot’s freshman pic, cosmic road movie “The Last Journey,” starring Jean Reno, won Best Film at Sitges in 2020.
WTFilms’ slate also includes Quentin Dupieux’s “Incredible but True,” that follows on from his Venice-playing giant fly comedy, “Mandibles,” that starred French comedy duo Grégoire Ludig and David Marsais.
Starring Alain Chabat and Léa Drucker, “Incredible by True” is about a couple that moves to a dream home in a quiet Parisian suburb, only to discover a mysterious tunnel in the basement.
“We aim to build on the success of Dupieux’s previous film ’Mandibles,’ which was a very successful title,” says Chambet, “and rightly so thanks to Venice, which has been ‘the’ festival least affected by the pandemic and a great place for buzz over the past two years.”
WTFilms inked a joint sales deal with Wild Bunch for “Mandibles” in mid 2020, and racked up sales to multiple territories including the U.S., U.K., Germany, Italy, Spain, Benelux, Scandinavia and Brazil.
Chambet says that French genre films are currently enjoying renewed market interest, notwithstanding lower theatrical admissions caused by the pandemic.
“Genre films perform really well digitally and also with specialized streamers such as Shudder,” says Chambet. “Even foreign language genre pics are working well in English-speaking territories these days.”
Chambet says he is now on the look out for genre series formats.
WTFilms’ lineup includes several horror pics, including Gregory Beghin’s horror thriller “Deep Fear,” from French-Belgian studio Black Swan Tales, set in the Paris catacombs.
At the Rendez-vous, WTFilms is screening the first footage from the ambitious horror comedy, “Year of the Shark,” by the Boukherma brothers, whose previous pic, “Teddy,” racked up around 50,000 admissions in France:
“As with most French genre movies, ‘Teddy’ had a modest French success, but it sold really well internationally,” says Chambet. “We have great genre directors in France and their films are more appreciated by genre audiences outside France than in our own country.”