IFC Films has picked up U.S. rights to Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s “Heartbeats” and Antoine Blossier’s “Prey” from Paris-based Rezo, the company announced Wednesday in Cannes. “Heartbeats” will be released via its IFC in Theaters platform which brings independent movies to on-demand viewers at home the same day they premiere in theaters. “Prey” will be released by the company’s recently launched new genre and specialty IFC Midnight label.
Lizzie Nastro, Director of Acquisitions & Co-Productions for IFC Films, negotiated the deal with Rezo’s Head of International Sales, Sebastien Chesneau on behalf of the filmmakers.
The second film by 21 year-old Dolan, “Heartbeats” the story of Francis (Dolan) and Marie (Monia Chokri) who are good friends. One night, they meet Nicolas (Niels Schneider), a young man from the country who has just settled in Montreal. From encounter to encounter, from moment to moment, troubled by innumerable signs — some real, some imagined — Francis and Marie fall deeper and deeper into a fantastical obsession with him. Soon, they find themsleves on the precipice of a love duel that threathens the friendship they once thought indestructible. The film is screening in Director’s Fortnight where his previous effort, “I Killed My Mother,” won three awards last year.
“Prey” centers on Nathan (“Beau Travail”‘s Gregoire Colin) who is at a countryside retreat for a Fall family reunion that he expects to be particularly stormy. Claire, his wife, has to announce her pregnancy and there are tough decisions that need to be made to prevent the family’s pesticides business from closing down. But on the first night that the family gathers, a terrorized deer mysteriously attacks Claire’s father. The men decide to venture into the surrounding forest to find the reasons for the animal’s odd behavior. Carrying a shotgun for the first time in his life and witnessing the growing tensions between the men in the family, Nathan soon discovers that hunting season is not over yet. Now they’ve become the prey.
“It’s with great pleasure that we continue our relationship with Rezo with ‘Heartbeats’ and ‘Prey,'” said IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring in a statement. “Xavier Dolan is one of the most exciting young talents working in cinema today and we couldn’t be happier to bring ‘Heartbeats’ to America. We also think audiences are really going to love ‘Prey’ which is an inventive and wild ride, as welll as an impressive debut by Antoine Blossier.”