Distrib Films Acquires U.S. Rights to ‘Josep,’ Sisters,’ ‘Tokyo Shaking’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Distrib Films has acquired U.S. rights to a flurry of high-profile foreign-language films, including the Cesar Award-winning animated feature “Josep,” the Isabelle Adjani starrer “Sisters,” and “Tokyo Shaking” with Karin Viard.

Directed by Yamina Benguigui, “Sisters” stars Adjani, Maiwenn and Rachida Brakni as siblings who tear each other apart when one of them decides to tell the life of their dying father in the theater.

The movie will be released by Distrib Films on Oct. 29 in L.A., followed by other cities. “Sisters” is set to play at the Women in Film Festival as part of of Martha’s Vineyard Film Society in October.

François Scippa Kohn, Distrib Films’ founder and president, said “Sisters” was a personal film for Benguigui as it reflects her take on family bonds, cultural identity and what it means to be a modern woman.

“Like other movies we’ve handled, notably ‘Papicha,”The Chef’s Wife,’ ‘Good Manners’ and ‘Three Summers,’ ‘Sisters’ has a broad appeal and should have a particularly strong impact on female audiences,” said Scippa Kohn.

“Josep” is directed by Aurelien Froment (known as Aurel) and charts the life of Josep Bartolí, the Catalan illustrator, painter, and lover of Frida Kahlo. The 2D film was part of Cannes 2020’s Official Selection and won best animated feature at the Cesar Awards and the European Film Awards. The movie was released in French theaters last year and had a healthy box office run in spite of the pandemic.

“‘Josep is a historical, personal and artistic tale about a dark period of European history, when, under dictator Franco, Spanish refugees flee to France to find themselves in concentration camps until further notice, treated like no human being should be,” said Scippa Kohn.

The executive said the film targeted a more mature audience than typical family-driven animations but he added that the company will showcase the film in select “theaters and festivals, as well as on educational streaming, DVD et VOD.”

“Tokyo Shaking,” directed by Olivier Peyon, is set on March 11, 2011, when Japan was hit by the biggest tsunami it had ever experienced, leading to the Fukushima disaster. The film stars Viard (“Polisse,” “La famille Belier”) as Alexandra, a French executive newly arrived from Hong-Kong to work in a bank, who has to face this nuclear crisis amid pervading terror and chaos. Distrib Films will present the film at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival.

One of France’s most successful actors, Kiard can play very different roles, “from the “lost rockstar fan (‘Number One Fan’) to a politically active factory worker (‘My Piece of the Cake’) or, in ‘Tokyo Shaking,’ a French top executive sent to Tokyo to manage the Japanese subsidary of the largest French bank,” pointed out Scippa Kohn.

Distrib Films has also acquired “Les magnifiques” (“Le Temps des nababs”), a documentary series directed by Florence Strauss about famous producers who delivered iconic movies between WW2 and the end of the 1970’s. The eight-part series notably Jean-Pierre Rassam, Alain Poiré, Jacques Perrin, Christian Fechner, Mag Bodard and Claude Berri, among others. The distribution company will roll out “Les magnifiques” on DVD and on streaming, exclusively on Ovid.tv in January.

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