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Toronto: Adi Shankar Acquires ‘Michaelle en Sacrament,’ Will Release Free on YouTube (Exclusive)

Producer-turned-director will roll out French-Canadian web series starring Gabrielle Forcier, Catherine Bégin

Producer-turned-director Adi Shankar has acquired worldwide rights to the French-Canadian TV dramedy “Michaëlle en Sacrament.”

The deal, made out of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, has Shankar preparing an interesting strategy to get eyeballs on the project: He’s releasing it for free on his YouTube page.

Directed by Herve Baillargeon, “Sacrament” tells of a young woman nursing an extreme hangover when her grandmother — in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease — appears on her doorstep clutching a cat. 

“Herve Baillargeon is a shining example of the kind of unique, fresh voice that we as an industry have been clamoring for,” Shankar told TheWrap. “I can’t wait to present his voice to an English-speaking audience.”

The series was created by Christine Doyon, Baillargeon and Frédérique Élisabeth St-Pierre, who also serves as producer. It first aired as a web series via Canada’s TV5.

Shankar is finishing his directorial debut “Gods and Secrets,” a dark and modern take on superhero tropes. As TheWrap exclusively reported, his cast includes a “Glee” reunion for stars Mark Salling, Josh Sussman and Max Adler. “Twilight” boys Kellan Lutz and Jackson Rathbone star, as does “You’re Next” breakout Sharni Vinson.

Another of the rare TV deals done in Toronto was The Weinstein Company’s acquisition of the grizzly Icelandic series “Trapped,” about a small-town murder investigation intensified by a monster storm.