Drafthouse Films Buys 'La French' Starring Jean Dujardin at Cannes
by Ethan Anderton
May 27, 2014
The Cannes Film Festival is officially over, and while plenty of films that played the overseas cinema showcase have landed distribution, one film that got picked up didn't actually screen at the festival. In fact, Cedric Jimenez's period crime thriller La French, starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin, only screened a reel with eight minutes of footage, and that was enough to spark a bidding war with Drafthouse Films coming out on top with distribution in multiple territories. This comes as Drafthouse Films pick-up of Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo from Cannes in 2013 heads to theaters this summer. So what's this movie?
First of all, here's the Cannes Film Market poster and the first photo from La French:
The film is basically the French side of The French Connection, with Dujardin as Pierre Michel, a young magistrate in the French police, with a wife and children, who's just been transferred to help in the crackdown on organized crime. He decides to take on the French Connection, a mafia-run operation that exports heroin the world over. Heeding no one’s warnings, he leads a one-man campaign against mafia kingpin Gaetan Zampa (Gilles Lelouche), the most untouchable godfather of them all. Clearly this is the kind of story Drafthouse Films believes in bringing to cinephiles everywhere as founder Tim League says:
"One of our goals is to get young audiences excited about foreign language film. We combed the market and devoured the official selections. Nothing excited us more than La French.”
This is also the first film that Dujardin decided to do after The Artist, so it must be pretty damn good. And what's really cool is that the press release indicates La French was shot on 35mm and will be screened in select venues in 35mm along with a collection of vintage 35mm classic crime trailers curated by Cedric Jimenez. And just for fun, a limited edition VHS release for the film will be available along with the traditional DVD, Blu-Ray and digital formats. If eight minutes was enough to spark a bidding war, we can't wait to see what this film offers. The films hits French theaters in December, but there's no US release date.