Wellspring Takes U.S. Rights to Erotic French Drama "Nathalie"
by Brian Brooks
French director Anne Fontaine's feature "Nathalie" starring Gerard Depardieu, Fanny Ardant and Emanuelle Beart has been acquired by Wellspring, the company announced Friday. The film, which premiered at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival, is an erotic drama in which a woman (Ardant) who is desperate to understand her husband's continual infidelity hires Nathalie (Beart), a beautiful prostitute, to seduce him and reveal the secrets of his erotic tastes. Eventually, what unfolds, according to a Wellspring announcement about the film, is a "mesmerizing relationship between the two women," and its not "a classic love triangle."
"Nathalie" recently screened at the 2004 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series in New York, sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This week, the film will have its west coast debut at the City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival in Los Angeles, a series that spotlights current French film.
Wellspring's head of acquisitions Marie Therese Guirgis negotiated the deal, which includes all U.S. rights, with John Kochman of Studio Canal. The New York-based film distributor plans an autumn 2004 theatrical release and a DVD/video release to follow.
"Nathalie is smart, provocative and incredibly sexy," said Guirgis in a statement. "It's a grown-up film that delivers everything American audiences look for in French cinema."
Upcoming cinematic releases from Wellspring include Jafar Panahi's Cannes-winner, "Crimson Gold," Bruno Dumont's controversial "Twentynine Palms," Andre Techine's WWII drama "Strayed," Alexander Sokurov's Cannes-winner, "Father and Son," Jean François Pouliot's Sundance audience award winner, "Seducing Doctor Lewis," Cedric Kahn's thriller, "Red Lights," and Marco Bellocchio's Venice-winner, "Good Morning, Night." Wellspring is a division of American Vantage Media Corporation.