EXCLUSIVE: Independent distribution outfit Cohen Media Group has acquired Berlin Film Festival opener Farewell, My Queen, for U.S. distribution. The Benoît Jacquot period drama stars Diane Kruger, Léa Seydoux and Virginie Ledoyen and premieres tonight (Thursday) in competition. Story is adapted from the Chantal Thomas novel and set during the first 3 days of the French Revolution as seen from the perspective of Marie Antoinette’s private reader at Versailles. The deal was negotiated by Cohen exec VP Gary Rubin and Adeline Fontan Tessaur of Elle Driver which is handling international sales. This is a particularly poignant Berlinale for the Elle Driver crew which first came to the festival in 2008 and is celebrating its 5th time out with the opening night film.
The acquisition for Cohen Media Group follows its pick-up of another another French production, Luc Besson’s The Lady, at Toronto in 2011. Chairman Charles S. Cohen said, “We are proud for the opportunity to present the latest film by the internationally renowned director, Benoît Jacquot. This continues our commitment to bring the highest quality films by the directors we and film enthusiasts most admire to audiences in the United States.” Fontan Tessaur adds, “We are extremely excited to work with the Cohen Media Group on Farewell, My Queen. This film is very special to us and we are greatly encouraged in knowing that it is in CMG’s expert hands. Our confidence is rooted in the fact that the Cohen Media Group has clearly demonstrated a particular understanding and interest in unique films; films like Farewell, My Queen. We look forward to this collaboration and its eventual success.”