Cannes is over.
You've probably read a lot of coverage of films that screened, in competition and other categories. But you don't hear too much about the market, where films are snagged sometimes without having been completed.
That's where Drafthouse Films snagged Cédric Jimenez's ultra-cool French crime thriller La French, when a bidding war erupted after Gaumont presented one hell of an extended promo for the film, currently in post-production.
The film, starring Academy Award® Winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist, The Wolf of Wall Street) as Pierre Michel, a young magistrate in the French police, with a wife and children, who's just been transferred to help in the crackdown on organized crime. He decides to take on the French Connection, a mafia-run operation that exports heroin the world over. Heeding no one’s warnings, he leads a one-man campaign against mafia kingpin Gaetan Zampa (Gilles Lelouche, Mesrine: Killer Instinct), the most untouchable godfather of them all.
Consider La French as the European flipside to William Friedkin's classic The French Connection.
And then consider that La French was shot entirely on 35mm. And that Drafthouse Films is going to be screening it theatrically on 35mm in select theaters, along with a collection of vintage 35mm French crime trailers curated by Jimenez. Maybe this is the first step to Guerre du Trailer?
Check out the full press release below, and watch Drafthouse Films for more info on La French.
DRAFTHOUSE FILMS CONNECTS WITH GAUMONT’S LA FRENCH
Cedric Jimenez’s flip side to The French Connection hits theaters in January 2015
CANNES, FRANCE – Drafthouse Films has acquired the US distribution rights to Cédric Jimenez’s period crime thriller “La French” starring Jean Dujardin. A dazzling eight minute promo reel debuted at this week’s Cannes Film Festival, resulting in a prebuy bidding war for distribution rights in multiple territories. This deal marks the first collaboration between Gaumont and Drafthouse Films.
La French was produced by Alain Goldman and Legende Films, was directed by Cédric Jimenez and stars Jean Dujardin as Pierre Michel opposite Gilles Lellouche as mob boss Gaetan Zempa.
While in Cannes to promote the movie, Dujardin told Variety “La French” was the first film he decided to do after winning an Oscar for “The Artist.”
“One of our goals is to get young audiences excited about foreign language film,” says Drafthouse Films founder and CEO Tim League. “We combed the market and devoured the official selections. Nothing excited us more than La French.”
Cecile Gaget, head of Gaumont Intl. who negotiated the deal said “we want to launch La French, a movie we consider to be a milestone in French genre cinema, with a director-friendly partner who understands how cool this movie is. We think Drafthouse Films is the perfect match.”
“I am proud that La French is going to be released by Drafthouse," said director Cedric Jimenez. “They defend "cinema de qualité" with passion and talent. We are extremely excited to work with them."
La French was shot on 35mm and will be screened theatrically in select venues in 35mm along with a collection of vintage 35mm classic crime trailers curated by Cedric Jimenez (DCPs will also be available). Drafthouse Films also plans a limited edition VHS release for the film in addition to traditional DVD, Bluray and digital formats.
The deal was negotiated by Cecile Gaget and Yohann Comte from Gaumont International and James Shapiro and Tim League from Drafthouse Films.
About La French
Marseille. 1975. Pierre Michel, a young magistrate with a wife and children, has just been transferred to help in the crackdown on organized crime. He decides to take on the French Connection, a mafia-run operation that exports heroin the world over. Paying heed to no one’s warnings, he leads a one-man campaign against mafia kingpin Gaetan Zampa, the most untouchable godfather of them all. The European flipside to William Friedkin’s The French Connection, Cédric Jimenez’s La French is also based on a true story.
About Drafthouse Films
Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is a curated brand of provocative, visionary and artfully unusual films new and old from around the world. Following the earnestly simple motto of “sharing the films we love with widest audience possible,” Drafthouse Films debuted in 2010 with the theatrical release of Four Lions, which was named of Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Films Of The Year.” Their release slate includes the acclaimed Best Foreign Language Oscar® nominated Bullhead, the internationally celebrated Danish comedy Klown (currently slated for a Warner Bros/Todd Phillips produced US remake), the 40th anniversary restoration of landmark Australian thriller Wake In Fright and Best Documentary Oscar® nominee The Act Of Killing. Drafthouse Films distributes films theatrically, through home video, VOD, VHS and their direct-to-consumer platforms integrating into the larger Alamo Drafthouse entertainment brand, which along with the Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas includes: Mondo, the collectible art boutique; Fantastic Fest, the largest international genre film festival in the US; and the pop culture website Badass Digest.