Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer” has scored U.S. distribution with Neon’s boutique label Super after making its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it won two major competition awards.
Super will release the film in theaters, following its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival and screening at the BFI London Film Festival, both in October. “Saint Omer” won the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize and the Luigi De Laurentiis Lion of the Future Award for Best Debut Feature at Venice; it also played at TIFF earlier this month, making it one of only four films to compete at NYFF, TIFF and Venice.
“Saint Omer” is the first narrative feature from Diop, the documentary filmmaker of “We,” “La Permanence” and “La Mort de Danton.” Inspired by a true story, the film revolves around the trial of Laurence Coly, a Senagalese woman accused of killing her infant daughter in northern France. A pregnant novelist named Rama attends the trial, only to have her convictions and judgments profoundly shaken by the words of the accused and witness testimonies.
The cast includes Kayije Kagame, Guslagie Malanda, Valérie Dréville and Aurélia Petit. Diop co-wrote the screenplay with Amrita David and Marie NDiaye. Toufik Ayadi and Christophe Barral of Srab Films produced, alongside Arte France Cinéma and Pictanovo Hauts-de-France.
“Saint Omer” is shortlisted for France’s Best International Feature submission to the 2023 Academy Awards. It currently maintains a 100% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Mason Speta negotiated the deal on behalf of Super with CAA Media Finance and Wild Bunch International on behalf of the filmmakers.