Federation’s New Film Sales Arm Ginger & Fed Unveils Slate at Unifrance RDV, Including Niels Tavernier’s WWII Drama ‘The Future Awaits’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Ginger & Fed, the new international film sales arm of Federation Studios headed by former TF1 Studio boss Sabine Chemaly, will launch several high profile titles at the Unifrance Rendez-Vous, including “The Future Awaits,” Niels Tavernier’s WWII-set drama based on the true story of a Holocaust survivor. Ginger & Fed will also bow sales on “Riviera Revenge,” a heartwarming comedy starring André Dussollier (“The Crime is Mine”), Sabine Azéma (“Tanguy”) and Thierry Lhermitte (“The Dinner Game”), along with continuing deals on “Rachel’s Game,” “Survive” and “Oldies and Goodies.”

Produced by Yves Darondeau at Bonne Pioche Cinema (“March of the Penguins”), “The Future Awaits” tells the story of Tauba Birenbaum, whose testimony was collected in July 1997 to become part of Steven Spielberg’s Institute for Visual History. The film opens in July 1942, during the Vel’ d’Hiv’ Roundup of Jewish families in Paris. 13-year-old Tauba and her parents, who are Polish Jews, find refuge in a tiny room for the next 765 days. Living conditions are tough and they fear being discovered at any moment. But while her parents sink further into despair, Tauba’s fighting spirit shines through. She finds joy in every little thing, from a piano drawn on the floor, to the views of Paris through an open window. Despite extreme circumstances, she will keep hope until the liberation of Paris, and take back control of her life.

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Currently in post-production, the prestige period movie stars Guillaume Gallienne (“Yves Saint Laurent”), Sandrine Bonnaire (“Happening”), Adeline d’Hermy (“The Speech”) and Violette Guillon (“We Are Family”).

Tavernier co-wrote the film with Tauba’s son, Guy Birenbaum and Laurent Bertoni. “It’s a beautiful film about resilience, about this young girl who becomes a woman and supports her parents,” says Chemaly, describing the movie as her “first coup de coeur” since creating Ginger & Fed in September.

“‘The Future Awaits’ shows everyday heroism and makes us feel the poignant experiences of life in wartime through the eyes of Tauba and her family,” says Chemaly. Apollo will release “The Future Awaits” in theaters in France.

Ginger & Fed will start selling the film at the Unifrance Rendez-Vous showcase this week with a promo and script translated in English.

“Riviera Revenge” (“N’avoue jamais”), directed by Ivan Calberac (“The Tasting”), revolves around the marriage of François Marsault, a war veteran who is making the most of his retirement alongside his wife Annie. Authoritarian and ruthless, Marsaul rules his family with an iron fist — but when he discovers that his esteemed wife cheated on him 40 years ago, he files for divorce and confronts her former lover who lives in the French Riviera.

“What made me want to come on board this film is that it talks about older people without portraying them as grandparents or as suffering an illness,” says Chemaly. “It’s a story about love and jealousy, and one that ponders on whether you should divorce when you’re in your 70s.” The executive points out the film’s protagonist, a family patriarch, reminds her of Robert De Niro’s character in “Meet the Fockers.”.

The movie was produced by Antoine Pezet and Jerome Corcos at NAC and Nicolas Mauvernay at Mizar Films. It will be released in France by Wild Bunch.

Other highlights on Ginger & Fed’s inaugural slate include “Rachel’s Game,” Thierry Klifa’s dramedy starring Fanny Ardant (“8 Women”) and Mathieu Kassovitz (“The Bureau”), and Frédéric Jardin’s thriller “Survive” which is co-repped with WTFilms.

The Rendez-Vous roster of Ginger & Fed is made up of third-party pickups, like “Riviera Revenge,” as well as movies produced by companies within Federation Studios, for instance Bonne Pioche’s “The Future Awaits.” “This is how our lineup will be built, with in-house and external productions, and we will focus on comedy, drama and genre, with eventually a fourth pillar around animation,” Chemaly explained.

During her 11-year tenure as head of TF1 Studio’s international film sales division, Chemaly handled worldwide deals on many hits, from the comedy franchise “Serial (Bad) Weddings” to the TV show “Call My Agent!”

Joining forces with Federation Studios made sense for Chemaly, who had already begun collaborating with producers within the group during her years at TF1 Studio, including Julien Madon and Yves Darondeau.

“When I saw Lionel Uzan [managing director of Federation] whom I’ve known for a long time, he explained that the company was indeed interested in ramping up its output in films, and it seemed that it was the perfect time to launch a division dedicated to international sales to accompany this strategic evolution,” Chemaly says.

Ginger & Fed looks to position itself to make commercial movies, says Chemaly. “It’s our DNA, and that’s why we’re kicking off with French movies that have a mainstream appeal.”

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