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Films Distribution Boards Sales on Topical French Comedy ‘Veiled’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 2/11/2017 Elsa Keslassy
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Films Distribution has come on board to sell Iranian Sou Abadi’s directorial debut, “Some Like It Veiled” (Cherchez la femme), a topical French comedy tackling serious issues such as radicalism, cross-cultural love and religious beliefs.

Produced by Michael Gentile’s The Film, “Some Like It Veiled” stars Felix Moati and Camélia Jordana as Armand and Leila, two lovers from a Parisian suburb whose romance hits a rough patch when Leila’s brother, Mahmoud, (William Lebghil) returns from a life-changing trip to Yemen. Eager to control Leila’s life, Mahmoud decides to confine his sister at home, which leaves Armand with no other choice then to start wearing a niqab, pretending to be a girl seeking private Koran lessons from Leila.

In spite of its daring topic, the movie has pulled powerful backers, including Mars Distribution, which will release the film in France, as well as Canal Plus, France 2, Orange, and the CNC’s selective scheme. The movie will be completed in mid-March.

Films Distribution is shopping the film at Berlin’s EFM.

A French-Iranian director, Abadi has directed several shorts, including “Bhaï bhaï” and documentaries, notably “SOS Teheran.”

Gentile said he received a synopsis of the project by mail three years ago and developed the film with Abadi for nearly three years. “When we started working on this project with Sou Abadi, the issues of radicalism and religious beliefs were already pressing with the Mahomet caricature scandal and Charlie Hebdo attacks, and then when we started raising the financing, the November 13th attacks in Paris happened. But all these events made this film even more compelling and timely,” explained Gentile.

“I think it’s an important film because it talks about today’s society, about issues like Salafism and unfair treatment towards women but it does so in a light, intelligent, and tender way,” added the producer, whose credits include Julie Delpy’s “Lolo” and Atiq Rahimi’s “The Patience Stone.”

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