By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall May 14, 2008 at 12:29PM
Great news from Cannes; IFC Films has acquired Arnaud Desplechin's Un Conte De Noël for US distribution. I couldn't be happier; Say what you will about the First Take Program (and believe me, I have been a skeptic myself), no company, none, has done more in the last couple of years to make foreign titles available to audiences in the USA. I also know that IFC's Ryan Werner, who did such an amazing job with Kings and Queen while at Wellspring, will be the perfect person to handle this film; His enthusiasm for Desplschin's work rivals my own and I know he will bring his passion to bear on making sure the film finds an audience here. IFC acquired the past two Palm D'Or winners, 2007's 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days and 2006's The Wind That Shakes The Barley, so maybe some of that luck will rub off on Despleschin?!?
Anyway, I think this is a perfect fit and am hoping for a North American victory lap at Toronto and the New York Film Festival before a timely late autumn/ early winter release, just in time for the holiday season. Are you listening, Ryan? I can't wait!
The other great news is that Josh Safdie's 2008 Sarasota Film Festival Independent Visions Jury and Heineken Red Star Award winner The Pleasure of Being Robbed has also been picked up by IFC Films in Cannes. The film is living a charmed life, and is so deserving of finding a wider audience. Congrats to Josh, Eléonore, Brett and the whole team!