News ID: 316557
Published: 0404 GMT September 22, 2021

Amazon Studios is placing Farhadi’s ‘A Hero’ in Awards Season in three categories

Amazon Studios is placing Farhadi’s ‘A Hero’ in Awards Season in three categories

Although the pandemic has pole-axed many independent distributors, some like Alexandre Mallet-Guy at Paris-based Memento Distribution managed to weather the storm.

Amazon Studios is positioning Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Hero’ in the Awards Season in several categories besides the international feature film one, for instance best director and script, said Mallet-Guy who has been working closely with Farhadi since ‘A Separation’, Variety wrote.

The movie won Cannes’ Grand Prize and played at Telluride.

According to Variety, the company has had prestige auteur films playing in the festival circuit this year; at Cannes with multiple films in competition, including ‘A Hero;’ Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s ‘The Worst Person in the World’; in Deauville with Christophe Honoré’s ‘Guermantes’; and at San Sebastian with Laurent Cantet’s ‘Arthur Rambo’, Zhang Ji’s ‘Fire on the Plain’ and Emmanuel Carriere’s ‘Between Two Worlds’, with Juliette Binoche, which world premiered on opening night at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight; and Jacques Audiard’s ‘Paris, District 13th’.

Along with his distribution activities, Mallet-Guy is also involved in production through Memento Production. The banner produces or co-produces select director-driven projects. ‘A Hero,’ for instance, was produced by Mallet-Guy and Farhadi’s companies.

Mallet-Guy is also set to co-produce and distribute in France the next films by Turkish Palme d’Or winning director Nuri Bilge Ceylan (‘Winter Sleep’) and Swedish-Egyptian helmer Tarik Saleh (‘The Nile Hilton Incident’).

Bilge Ceylan’s ‘Barren Weeds’, now in post-production, will be the helmer’s most ambitious film to date, said Mallet-Guy, who described the movie as a lushly-lensed fresco touching on family, love and relationships. ‘On Barren Weeds’ will be in post-production for one more year.

The production of ‘On Barren Weeds’ continues in Erzurum. One of the productions supported by the Eurimages fund, it’s expected to hit theaters in 2023 and premiere, Mallet-Guy hopes, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Saleh’s fourth feature, ‘Boy from Heaven,’ will be a “contemporary political religious thriller,” said Mallet-Guy. Memento International, which no longer has crossed shareholding ties with Mallet-Guy’s banner, is handling world sales on ‘Boy from Heaven.’ Saleh’s Stockholm-based outfit Atmo is producing the movie with Mallet-Guy.

While he’s looking to continue producing one or two films per year, Mallet-Guy says his primary activity remains distribution. The banner releases on average one movie per month and has been handling more and more French movies.

“Our distribution slate has been looking more French for the last five or six years. It used to be more international. But there are less and less attractive foreign-language or U.S. independent movies that are available in France, they’re often scooped by streaming services early on,” says Mallet-Guy, who adds that he’s stopped attending Sundance since 2019.

“These days, we are interested in slightly bigger French movies, either from well-established filmmakers or lesser-known ones but tackling topics that resonate today,” said Mallet-Guy.

Memento Distribution will be having a busy fall and winter, with ‘The Worst Person in the World’ slated for French release in October; Audiard’s ‘Paris, District 13th’ in November; Farhadi’s ‘A Hero’ in December; Cantet’s thought-provoking tale ‘Arthur Rambo’ and ‘Between Two Worlds’ will bow early next year.



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