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Neon Acquires Celine Sciamma’s Berlinale Contender ‘Petite Maman’

Distributor reteams with the French director after her 2019 film ”Portrait of a Lady on Fire“

Audiences and critics just got a look at the next film from director Céline Sciamma, “Petite Maman,” at the Berlin International Film Festival. Now, Neon has swiftly swooped in to acquire the film’s North American rights, reteaming with Sciamma after releasing her acclaimed 2019 drama “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”

“Petite Maman” just had its world premiere on Wednesday at the Berlinale, where it is playing in competition. It stars two young real-life sisters, Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz, in a film about loss that is told through their eyes. Here’s the full synopsis:

Eight-year-old Nelly has just lost her beloved grandmother and is helping her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods where her mom, Marion, used to play and built the treehouse she’s heard so much about. One day her mother abruptly leaves. That’s when Nelly meets a girl her own age in the woods building a treehouse. Her name is Marion.

“Petite Maman” also stars Nina Meurisse, Stéphane Varupenne and Margot Abascal. The drama is produced by Bénédicte Couvreur of Lilies Films and was shot by cinematographer Claire Mathon, Sciamma’s frequent collaborators.

Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for NEON with Fionnuala Jamison of mk2, who are handling international sales.

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire” premiered in competition at Cannes and won Best Screenplay from the festival. Sciamma is also known for her films “Tomboy,” “Water Lilies” and “Girlhood.”

Neon recently picked up the documentaries “Flee” and “Ailey” out of Sundance and was recently behind the Apple TV+ documentary “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry.”