Focus Features has acquired U.S. domestic and select international rights to nonfiction feature "Baby(ies)" by doc filmmaker Thomas Balmes, Focus CEO James Schamus announced Sunday from Cannes. The film is an original idea by Alain Chabat who produced the feature with Amandine Billot and Christine Rouxel through his Chez Wam production company. Focus will also release the film in Mexico, Italy, Scandinavia, Korea, and South Africa. In related news, Focus has also entered into a first-look deal with Chez Wam's Los Angeles-based subsidiary Wam Films. "Baby(ies)" is currently in post-production for release in 2010.
Focus picked up the title from co-producer StudioCanal. The film is the French studio's first as a direct distributor in its home country as well as the U.K., Germany and the Benelux countries. StudioCanal is also handling all other international sales.
Capturing on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity, "Baby(ies)" simultaneously follows four babies, in Mongolia, Namibia, San Francisco, and Tokyo, respectively, from birth to first steps. Every shot tells a story, as the adventure of a lifetime begins.
"Seeing these little heroes during their formative moments makes Baby(ies) an extraordinarily entertaining experience, one that will appeal to any viewer of any age in any part of the world," commented Schamus in a statement. "With this movie, Thomas is re-defining the nonfiction art form."
Focus is screening Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock" in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.