Specialized distributor Rialto Pictures has acquired all U.S. rights to five first-run films from French giant Studiocanal. The five films, all U.S. premieres, will go out under Rialto’s new label “Rialto Premieres.”
First release for Rialto Premieres will be director Clément Michel’s hit romantic comedy The Stroller Strategy, starring Raphaël Personnaz and Charlotte Le Bon. Also starring, French heartthrob Personnaz (The Princess of Montpensier, Anna Karenina) as a Parisian who accidentally becomes the guardian of an infant – then pretends to be his real father in order to win back Le Bon, the girlfriend who dumped him a year before. This will be Michel’s directorial debut, and the it is set to open at New York’s Angelika Film Center on June 14.
Other first-run Studiocanal films in the new deal with Rialto include Hotel Normandy, starring Eric Elmosnino (Gainsbourg) and Helena Noguerra, and Demi-Soeur, directed by and starring Josiane Balasko.
Since its founding, New York-based Rialto’s close partnership with Studiocanal has included major reissues of such jewels of the French company’s classic library as Grand Illusion, The Third Man, and Fellini’s Nights of Cabiria. For the past year, Rialto has been the U.S. theatrical distributor of Studiocanal’s catalogue of over 2,000 titles.
Described by the Los Angeles Times as “the gold standard of reissue distributors,” New York-based Rialto Pictures was founded in 1997 by Bruce Goldstein. Adrienne Halpern joined him as co-president a year later, with Eric Di Bernardo joining the company as National Sales Director in 2002. Rialto’s vast library of classics includes films by Godard, Fellini, Renoir, Kurosawa, Buñuel, Costa-Gavras, Pontecorvo, Carol Reed, Michael Powell, Jules Dassin, Jean-Pierre Melville, and many others.
2012 marked Rialto’s fifteenth anniversary, a milestone celebrated with a retrospective at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The company’s re-releases this year include Godard’s rarely-seen Le Petit Soldat; Jean-Pierre Melville’s final film, Un Flic, starring Alain Delon and Catherine Deneuve; Joseph Losey’s The Servant, written by Harold Pinter; and Claude Autant-Lara’s A Pig Across Paris (La Traversée de Paris), starring Jean Gabin.
Also beginning in June, Rialto will tour “The Hitchcock 9” — Alfred Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films, all newly restored by the British Film Institute — in collaboration with the BFI and Park Circus Films. The “Hitchcock 9” tour will kick off in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.