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Berlinale: Pyramide Intl. Sets Tavianis’ ‘Rainbow,’ Tonie Marshall’s ‘Number One’ for Berlin (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 2/2/2017 John Hopewell

PARIS — Paris-based Pyramide Intl., one of Europe’s foremost arthouse sales agents, will introduce to buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market both “Rainbow,” the latest film from 2012 Berlin Golden Bear winners Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, and “Number One,” from France’s Tonie Marshall (“Venus Beauty Institute”).

After world premiering in last month in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition to a highly upbeat reaction, “The Wound,” a third title on Pyramide Intl.’s sales slate at Berlin, will open the Berlinale’s Panorama section.

Starring upcoming Italian actors Luca Marinelli, Valentina Bellè and Lorenzo Richelmy, and adapting “Una Questione Privata,” a novel by Beppe Fenoglio, “Rainbow” is set during World War II. It turns on Milton, a member of the Italian resistance who courts a woman who, he discovers, is secretly in love with Giorgio, a fellow partisan. He decides to seek Giorgio out, only to discover he has been arrested by the fascists.

“When I read the script of ‘Rainbow,’ it immediately carried me back to ‘The Night of San Lorenzo,’ which remains a masterpiece for me when I discovered it 35 years ago,” said Eric Lagesse, president of Pyramide Intl.

He added: “The French co-producer of ‘Rainbow,’ Les Films d’Ici, gave us this opportunity to work with the Taviani brothers who made me – among others – love cinema. I could not miss it.”

France’s Sampek Productions and Italy’s Sternal Entertainment produce.

Starring Emmanuelle Devos, Suzanne Clément and Richard Berry, “Number One” returns Marshall – whose “Venus Beauty Institute” won four French Academy Cesars – to core concerns of her cinema.

The new film centres on a brilliant woman, Emmanuelle, who has already earned a position on the board of France’s leading energy company. She has been married for 20 years to a caring husband, has two children. But she is then offered  the position of president at one of France’s biggest companies, listed on its elite CAC bourse.  But women face large difficulties acceding to positions of power in big companies. Pyramide Intl. will screen a promo at Berlin’s European Film Market.

One of the high-end new French films at the European Film Market, “‘Number One’ is a very ambitious film about women and power. After lengthy research into the business world, supported by Raphaëlle Bacqué, one of the most reliable French political journalists, Tonie came up with a story inspired by many other true stories of women conquering a world dedicated to men,” Lagesse commented.

He added: “This big budget movie should open many eyes and point out the inconsistencies of our society in a film made as a thriller.”

Described by Variety as “hard-edged” but “beautifully wrought” and an “eye-opener,” John Trengove’s “The Wound,” a study of Xhosa models of masculinity, will open Berlin’s Panorama on Feb. 9.

Pyramide Intl. will screen a promo of “The Prince of Nothingwood,” Sonia Kronlund’s docu-feature portrait for Gloria Films of the extraordinary figure of Salim Shaheen, Afghanistan’s most popular and prolific actor-director-producer, who has made 110 films over 30 years, “a man who believes in cinema in a way no one believes in it elsewhere, like a sort of Ed Wood on a much grander scale, powerful and generous,” according to director Kronlund.

Pyramide Distribution will open “The Prince of Nothingwood” in France on June 14.

The Paris-based sales house also market premieres “The Consolation,” the second fiction  feature film of  Cyril Mennegun, about a man who returns to the realms of his childhood. Distributed in France by Haut et Court, “The Consolation” marks Mennegun’s follow-up to “Louise Wimmer,’ which bowed well at the 2012 Venice Critics Week, establishing Mennegun as a talent to track.

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