IFC Films has nabbed U.S. rights to “Fire,” the new drama from celebrated French director Claire Denis. The pact marks the first major domestic deal of the Berlinale 2022 competition.
World premiering next week at the Berlin Film Festival, “Fire” is headlined by two of France’s biggest stars, Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient”) and Vincent Lindon (“Titane”). The pair have never been in a film together.
IFC Films has a long history with both Denis and Binoche. The director-driven distribution company previously handled Denis’ “Let The Sunshine In,” which starred Binoche, and “White Material.” Binoche also appeared in such as IFC releases as Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Non-Fiction,” as well as Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy.”
Set in the winter in Paris, the film tells the tale of a fiery love triangle involving Jean (Lindon) and Sara (Binoche) who have been living together for 10 years. When they first met, Sara was living with François (Grégoire Colin), Jean’s best friend and an admirer from back when he played pro rugby. Jean and Sara love each other. One day, Sara sees François in the street. He does not notice her, but she is overcome by the sensation that her life could suddenly change. François gets back in touch with Jean. For the first time in years. He suggests they start working together again. From here on, things spiral out of control.
“We are honored to partner with Claire and Juliette once again on ‘Fire’ and bring a major talent like Vincent Lindon into the IFC Films family,” said Arianna Bocco, president of IFC Films.
“We are thrilled to be a home to these talented artists and underscore our decades long commitment to bringing the best in French cinema to audiences in the United States,” added Bocco, who negotiated the deal with Wild Bunch International, Anton corp and CAA Media finance on behalf of the filmmakers. “Fire” will be released by IFC Films in Summer 2022.
IFC Films’ recent French acquisitions include Audrey Diwan’s “Happening” which won Venice’s Golden Lion and just earned a BAFTA nod for best director, as well as Paul Verhoeven’s subversive drama “Benedetta” and Jacques Audiard’s “Paris, 13th District.”
Also called “Both Sides of the Blade,” “Fire” is Denis’ first film since her 2018′ sci-fi movie “High Life” staring Binoche and Robert Pattinson. The movie marked her English-language debut.
Denis penned the script of “Fire” with bestselling French novelist Christine Angot. The film also stars Mati Diop, Bulle Ogier, Issa Perica and Hana Magimel.
Lensed by Eric Gautier, whose credits include Jia Zhangke’s “Ash is the Purest White,” “Fire” was produced by Curiosa Film with associate producer Jacqueline de Croÿ of Dear Gaia Films.