Incendies, Hobo and Melt added to Sundance; Villeneuve opens in France

Denis Villeneuve's award-winning Incendies will start the New Year with a bang. It's set to open across France on 80 screens Jan. 12 and is one of six Canadian films picked to screen at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.
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Denis Villeneuve’s award-winning Incendies, which has drawn more than $2.5 million at Quebec box office since its September release, will start the New Year with a bang. It’s set to open across France on 80 screens Jan. 12 and is one of six Canadian films picked to screen at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, kicking off Jan. 20 in Park City, Utah.

“The French distributor really believes in the film,” Les Films Christal co-president Christian Larouche told Playback Daily, adding that initially Incendies, which is a Canada-France co-production, was to open across the Atlantic last fall.

“But when it started to generate so much buzz here they decided to push it back to January.” The film is distributed in France by Paris-based boutique house Happiness Film Distribution.

Incendies is Canada’s official submission to the Oscars in the Foreign-language film category.“The Oscars will likely release their nominations in January, if it gets picked, it will help it’s international release,” says Larouche.

Incendies was purchased by Sony Pictures Classics in the U.S. and has picked up a number of awards at festivals around the world.

Written and directed by Villeneuve (Polytechnique), the film was adapted from the critically acclaimed stage play by Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad and is produced by micro_scope (Montreal) in association with the PHI Group (Montreal) and TS Productions (Paris).

“It’s fun to see it being released and sold all over the world,” says Larouche. “It’s unbelievable. It has worked out really well. We didn’t expect this.”

The film will likely be released in the U.S. in April, says Larouche.

More for Sundance
Incendies will be shown on at least one screen in the US in the immediate future, however. After releasing its list of films in competition Wednesday, Sundance unveiled dozens of titles Thursday which will screen out of competition, including Incendies, the Nova Scotia indie thriller Hobo with a Shotgun, produced by Niv Fichman, Paul Gross and Rob Cottrell, and Mark Pellington’s I Melt with You.

The Canadian films in competition in the world dramatic category are The Salesman (Le Vendeur), the first feature for director/writer Sébastien Pilote, and Vampire, (a Japanese-Canadian co-production) directed and written by Iwai Shunji. Julia Ivanova’s Family Portrait in Black and White, a Canadian-Ukrainian co-pro, is one of a dozen titles to screen in world documentaries.