Cannes, FRANCE (May 21, 2010) – IFC Films, the leading American distributor of independent and foreign films, announced today that the company is acquiring U.S. rights to internationally acclaimed director Bertrand Tavernier’s THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER, which is screening in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film was produced by Eric Heumann, with a screenplay by Jean Cosmos, Francois-Olivier Rousseau and Tavernier, based on the novel by Madame de la Fayette. It stars Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gaspard Ulliel, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, and Rapahel Personnaz. IFC Films will release the film theatrically and via its IFC in Theaters platform which brings critically-acclaimed independent movies to theatrical and on-demand viewers.
Set in sixteenth century France, as the wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants rage against a backdrop of intrigue and shifting alliances, THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER is an epic drama and timeless love story that tells the tale of Marie de Mezieres, a beautiful young aristocrat, and Henri de Guise, one of the kingdom’s most intrepid heroes. The two are in love, but Marie’s father promises her hand in marriage to the Prince of Montpensier. The film follows Marie as she is caught between the many men in her path — the prince, her tutor Chabannes who falls in love with her, and Henri de Guise who returns from battle to find his feelings for Marie are as strong as ever.
Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment said, “We see many, many films but it has been a long time since we have seen a period costume drama that is as beautifully crafted as Bertrand Tavernier’s THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER. It’s perfect on so many levels, and Tavernier is really a master filmmaker. It is always a great pleasure for us to do business with Studio Canal, especially on such a masterwork.”
The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for IFC Films, and with Harold Van Lier and Anna Marsh at Studio Canal, on behalf of the filmmakers.
In addition to THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER, IFC Films also picked up several other titles at this week’s Cannes Film Festival including Xavier Dolan’s HEARTBEATS, Antoine Blossier’s PREY, and Abbas Kiarostami’s CERTIFIED COPY starring Juliette Binoche. Additionally, the company announced plans at the start of the festival to partner with Sundance Channel on a multi-platform release for Olivier Assayas’ epic portrait of renowned international terrorist Carlos the Jackal. Following a premiere on the Sundance Channel in October, IFC Films will distribute both the extended, three-part version of the film as well as a theatrical version nationally in theaters, with the theatrical version available nationally on video-on-demand.
About the Filmmaker
One of France’s premiere directors, screenwriters, and producers, Bertrand Tavernier is renowned for making dramas encompassing themes as diverse as familial relationships, World War I, and contemporary social ills. Born in Lyon on April 25, 1941, Tavernier grew up with a love of film and wanted to be a director from the age of 13. He helmed his first feature film, L’Horloger de St. Paul, in 1974. It received international acclaim and a Special Jury Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. One year later, he won awards for Que La F*te Commence…(Let Joy Reign Supreme), a historical drama set in pre-revolutionary France that won four Cesars, including one for Best Direction; and Le Juge et l’Assassin (The Judge and the Assassin), which also earned a number of Cesars, including a Best Screenplay award for Tavernier. In the following years, he made Des Enfants Gates (Spoiled Children), the sci-fi La Mort En Direct (Death Watch), the family drama Une Semaine de Vacances (A Week’s Vacation), Coup de Torchon (Clean Slate), Un Dimanche * la Campagne (A Sunday in the Country) which won the Director’s Prize at Cannes; and his greatest international success to date Round Midnight, his tribute to jazz and jazzmen. Starring Dexter Gordon as a self-destructive American saxophonist living in self-exile in Paris, the film was nominated for an Oscar for Beat Actor and Herbie Hancock won an Oscar for the film’s score. Following that success, Tavernier made La Passion Beatrice. La Vie et Rien d’Autre (Life and Nothing But), L.627, La Guerre Sans Nom, Captaine Conan, De L’Autre Cote Du Periphe (The Other Side of the Tracks), and a commence aujourd’hui (It All Begins Today).
About IFC Entertainment
A leader in the independent film industry, IFC Entertainment consists of multiple brands that are devoted to bringing the best of specialty films to the largest possible audience: IFC Films, Festival Direct, IFC Productions, and the IFC Center. IFC Films is a leading distributor of independent film. Its unique day and date distribution model, ‘IFC In Theaters,’ makes independent films available to a national audience by releasing them simultaneously in theaters as well as on cable’s On Demand platform and through Pay-Per-View, reaching 50 million homes. ‘IFC Festival Direct’ features a wide selection of titles acquired from major international film festivals and offers them exclusively through Video on Demand. IFC Center is a five screen, state-of-the-art cinema with luxurious seating and HD digital and 35mm projection that shows art-house films in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village. IFC Entertainment’s companies are subsidiaries of Rainbow Media Holdings LLC.