David Glasser’s 101 Studios has acquired the U.S. rights to “La Belle Epoque,” a French comedy from director Nicolas Beods starring Daniel Auteuil and Guillaume Canet, the distributor announced Wednesday.
“La Belle Epoque” first premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festivall, followed by a North American premiere at TIFF in 2019. 101 Studios has now slated the film for a spring 2020 U.S. theatrical release.
Auteuil and Canet star with Dora Tillier, Fanny Ardant and Pierre Arditi in the comedy that’s been described as a high-concept, Charlie Kaufman-esque narrative of romance and the irresistible allure of the past.
Disillusioned sexagenarian cartoonist Victor has lost his job and is on the outs with his wife Marianne when enterprising entrepreneur Antoine approaches him with an intriguing proposition — the chance to revisit the glory days of his youth, and his relationship, by traveling back through time (figuratively speaking).
Intrigued, the avowed technophobe hires Antoine’s virtual reality company to return him to May 16, 1974, the day he met Marianne in a café in Lyon, and soon finds himself drawn to Margo, the actress playing the younger incarnation of his spouse.
“La Belle Epoque” was released by Pathe Films in France on Nov. 6 and has earned over 1.3 million admissions (approximately $8 million) so far. The film is also enjoying success in other European countries such as Italy, where it has grossed $1.7 million.
“We were struck by Nicolas’ touching yet sharp-minded take on a romantic comedy and the impeccable performance given by Daniel Auteuil, who continues to be a tenacious force in French cinema. We’re simply delighted to give this film a platform for American audiences to discover it,” 101 Studios CEO David Glasser said in a statement.
“We are thrilled that ‘La Belle Epoque’ will soon be released in the USA and found a great home with 101 Studios who has the capacity of optimizing its release and exhibition in the USA thanks to their background with other French high concept films in the past,” Ardavan Safaee, president of Pathe Films, said in a statement.
“We hope French cinema will continue traveling all around the world for decades and believe more than ever in the diversity of theatrical experiences. We are delighted to meet with new companies that follow this goal as well,” Marie-Laure Montironi, EVP international for Pathe, addded.
Glasser, the former COO of The Weinstein Company, launched 101 Studios last year. The indie’s upcoming slate includes the Sundance Audience Award winner “Burden,” starring Forest Whitaker and Garrett Hedlund, and “Mosul,” a war drama from “Avengers: Endgame” directors the Russo Brothers.
The deal was negotiated by head of acquisitions James Allen, Glasser, James Gold and Leif Cervantes of Sheppard Mullen on behalf of 101 Studios and Marie-Laurie Montironi on behalf of Pathé.