Focus Dives into Ozon’s “Swimming Pool”
by Brian Brooks
Focus Features announced yesterday it has picked up U.S. distribution rights
to director Francois Ozon’s latest film, “Swimming Pool” from sales agent
Celluloid Dreams. The film, described by the company as a thriller, will be
released in 2003. It marks the first film the French director has made in
English, and it features long-time Ozon actresses Charlotte Rampling (“Under
the Sand”) and Ludivine Sagnier (“Water Drops on Burning Rocks”).
Focus released Ozon’s current film “8 Women” in September, starring a host
of French divas including Catherine Deneuve. That film succeeded in cashing
in at the box office at home and overseas, and also in picking up a best
actress award for the film’s eight female stars at the European Film Awards
and a Silver Bear award at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival. “8
Women” is also France’s official submission for the 2003 Academy Awards.
“Everyone at Focus Features has demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm for
Francois and his movies, and their efforts on behalf of ‘8 Women’ have been
outstanding,” said Celluloid Dreams chief executive Hengameh Panahi in a
prepared statement. “We are delighted to extend and expand the partnership
with our arrangement on ‘Swimming Pool.'”
Paris-based film sales agent Celluloid Dreams has negotiated all of Ozon’s
features. Focus Features is the specialty films unit of Universal Pictures.
Current Focus titles include Todd Haynes’ “Far From Heaven” and Roman
Polanski’s “The Pianist.” [Brian Brooks]