North American rights to director Bruno Dumont’s 2009 Toronto International Film Festival feature, “Hadewijch” have been picked up by IFC Films. The film, about a religious exremist’s absolute love of God and the consequences it brings, will have its U.S. debut this Sunday at the New York Film Festival, and recently screened in competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
IFC Films’ Lizzie Nastro negotiated the deal with Yoann Ubermulhin of Pyramide International, and the company will release the feature in 2010 via its IFC in Theaters platform, which provides Films to on demand viewers at home the same day they premiere in theaters.
In the film, Dumont undertakes a topical exploration of the psychology of religious extremism and martyrdom. Expelled from a convent for her overzealous faith, teenage Céline (Julie Sokolowski) reluctantly returns to a life of comfort and privilege as the daughter of a French government minister. Back in Paris and farther from God, she makes a new friend, an Arab boy who introduces her to the cités, housing projects full of Arab and African immigrants, an alien world but one where faith exerts a familiar sway.
“Over the last decade, Bruno Dumont has emerged as one of the most important filmmakers working in the world,” commented IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring in a statement. “With ‘Hadewijch,’ he’s made his most accessible film that is going to be a real topic of discussion. We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with him and our friends at Pyramide.”