Palace closes deals for 10 titles

19 June, 2013 by Don Groves

After a few weeks of negotiations Palace Films has finalised the contracts for 10 films from the Cannes Film Festival and market for release in 2014.

That wasn’t a record haul from Cannes for the distributor but general manager Nicolas Whatson rates it as “definitely one of the busiest markets in recent years.“


As for the time it takes to finalise deals, Whatson observes, “Sometimes contracts not only take weeks, they can take months. On occasion Cannes deals are made on a handshake or on a napkin at 3am. Then the fun begins.”

The upcoming slate is an eclectic mix of films from the UK, Italy, France and Latin America. Still Life stars Eddie Marsan and Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggart in the poignant tale of a lonely council worker whose job is to find the next of kin of those who have passed away alone; from The Full Monty producer/director Uberto Pasolini.

Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty is a pastiche of loosely connected vignettes, set in Rome at all-night parties, high society gatherings and religious congresses.

First-time writers/directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s Salvo is a thriller about a Mafioso henchman who makes a profound connection with a young blind girl while on a mission to execute her brother.

Actress-turned-director Valeria Golino’s Honey follows a young woman with a secret double life as an angel of mercy, starring Jasmine Trinca. Also from Italy is Maria Sole Tognazzi’s I Travel Alone, which features Margherita Buy as a respected but feared 5-star hotel critic who travels anonymously to Europe’s most exclusive resorts.

From Uruguay comes Álvaro Brechner’s Mr Kaplan, a black comedy about a Jewish octogenarian with a fragile hold on reality who hatches a plan to kidnap an elderly German restaurateur whom he suspects of being a former Nazi and return him to Israel.

Palace nabbed four titles from France including Marc Fitoussi’s Folies Bergère, which stars Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Pierre Darroussin as a stuck-in-a-rut farming couple; Katell Quillévéré’s Suzanne, a drama which explores the sensitive bond of two sisters and their single father and stars Sara Forestier and François Damiens; and Ruben Alves’ upstairs/downstairs Parisian comedy The Gilded Cage.

You and the Night is a 1980s-influenced, hallucinogenic fable of a group of friends preparing for an orgy, featuring an ensemble cast headed by Alain Fabien Delon, Béatrice Dalle and Eric Cantona, from first-time writer/director Yann Gonzalez.