M-Appeal Closes Further Deals for ‘Sex,’ ‘Evil Does Not Exist’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Berlin-based sales agency M-Appeal has closed several new deals for Berlinale title “Sex,” directed by Dag Johan Haugerud, and two further deals for Venice’s “Evil Does Not Exist,” directed by Oscar-winner Ryusuke Hamaguchi.

The new “Sex” buyers include U.K. and Ireland (Modern Films), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Pilot Film), Portugal (Films4You), Switzerland (Xenix Film), Ex-Yugoslavian territories (MCF Megacom) and Hungary (Vertigo Média).

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The film, which premiered in the Panorama section of Berlinale, follows two men – both working as chimney sweeps – living in monogamous, heterosexual marriages as they both end up in situations that challenge their views on sexuality and gender roles.

The title received three awards at the festival: the Europa Cinemas Label – Best European Film (Panorama), the CICAE Art Cinema Award, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.

Previously, the film secured distribution deals in North America (Strand Releasing), France (Pyramide Distribution), South Korea (JinJin Pictures), Greece (Cinobo), Germany (Alamode), Austria (Polyfilm), Benelux (September Film Distribution), Spain (Filmin), and Italy (Wanted Cinema).

Xenix’s general manager Cyril Thurston said: “’Sex’ is a joy to watch. It is smart, funny and will definitely spark a lot of conversations. It is simply original.”

M-Appeal has also closed deals for “Evil Does Not Exist” for Hungary (CinefilCo Ltd.) and Indonesia (Falcon).

In the past weeks, the Venice Silver Lion winner opened in Japan and in multiple other territories, including Korea (GreenNarae), the U.S. (Sideshow and Janus Films) and France (Diaphana).

In the U.S. and France, it had the largest opening for a film by the Japanese director. So far, the film has reached over 180,000 admissions in France, overtaking “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy” (just over 163,000 admissions) and closing in on the admissions for the Oscar-winning “Drive My Car,” which finished its initial run in the theaters with almost 195,000. In the U.S., the opening weekend per theater average for “Evil Does Not Exist” was more than double that of “Drive My Car.”

M-Appeal is attending Cannes Film Market with its most recent acquisition, “Baby” by Marcelo Caetano, screening in Critics’ Week.

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