MK2 Films, which is presenting six movies at the Cannes Film Festival, will be attending the market with a pair of hot new titles, French director Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” and Israeli helmer Maya Dreifuss’s “Highway 65.”
“Anatomy of a Fall” stars Sandra Hüller, the critically acclaimed German actor of “Toni Erdmann,” as an enigmatic German novelist who is arrested after the mysterious death of her husband at their chalet in the French Alps. The court case examines every aspect of the relationship she had with her husband, while her visually impaired son is called to testify as a witness.
More from Variety
The movie will re-team MK2 Films with Triet, whose latest film “Sybil” competed at Cannes. Fionnuala Jamison, MK2 Films’s managing director, described the film as a “Hitchcockian tale of suspense.” “We were hooked on the script, the complexities of Sandra’s character, and its original premise which will keep audiences guessing and questioning themselves throughout,” added Jamison. “Anatomy of a Fall” is produced by Les Films Pelléas and Les Films de Pierre.
“Highway 65,” meanwhile, revolves around Daphna, a badass childless police officer in her late 30s who’s been tasked with searching for a missing beauty queen in the blistering heat of a remote area. When no one seems to care about solving the case, Daphna becomes obsessed with it, causing her to cross professional boundaries and suffer an identity crisis. The film will also have some dark humor in the vein of “Three Billboards” and “Memories of Murder,” pointed out Jamison. Dreifuss was at Cannes with her graduation short “Bikur Holim” in 2005. “Highway 65” is produced by 2-Team Productions and TS Productions.
As always, MK2 Films is also handling several films world premiering across different sections of the festival: Leonor Serraille’s (“Jeune Femme”) moving family saga “Mother and Son” in competition; as well as Serge Bozon’s musical romantic comedy “Don Juan” with Tahar Rahim at Cannes Premiere; Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage” with Vicky Krieps and Davy Chou’s “All The People I’ll Never Be” set for Un Certain Regard; Emmanuelle Nicot’s blistering debut “Love According to Dalva” and Clément Cogitore’s (“The Wakhan Front”) “Sons of Ramses” starring Karim Leklou.
The company, which is led by Nathanaël and Elisha Karmitz, thrived during the pandemic with some of the biggest international hits, for instance Joachim Trier’s Oscar-nominated “The Worst Person in the World” which scored the biggest opening average of any foreign language since “Parasite.”
The movie, which MK2 Films co-produced, went on to gross $14.5 million worldwide with some more territories opening, pointed out Jamison.
Another recent MK2 Films title, Celine Sciamma’s “Petite Maman,” had the best opening for a limited release in per screen average so far this year. Sciamma’s previous film, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” grossed over $10 million worldwide even though its run was cut short due to the pandemic.
“Throughout the pandemic, we kept our focus on fresh talents and director-driven movies and we see that it’s paid off — the films we handled not only got good reviews and awards, they’re also working well in theaters around the world,” said Karmitz, citing Berlin’s Golden Bear winning film “Alcarras” by Carla Simón; Fernando León de Aranoa’s “The Good Boss” which won best picture and actor for Javier Bardem at the Goya Awards.
The banner is behind three of the six highest-grossing foreign language releases since 2019 in the U.S., “Cold War” (also co-produced by MK2), “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” and “Worst Person in the World.”
MK2 Films is also continuing to handle English-language films and just boarded second-window international sales rights for “Fire of Love,” the hit Sundance documentary from National Geographic which Neon will release domestically.
“We’re optimistic about the appeal of arthouse films in cinemas because theaters can shine a spotlight on movies and complement streamers,” said Jamison. She said the company was interested in forging new collaborations with different partners.
MK2 Films’ Cannes market slate also includes Olivier Babinet’s “Normal” and Soudade Kaadan’s “Nezouh” which is set against the backdrop of the Syrian conflict.
Best of Variety