Cinema Guild has acquired all U.S. distribution rights to Albert Serra’s The Death of Louis XIV, starring French New Wave legend Jean-Pierre Léaud. The film premiered as an Official Selection at Cannes, where Léaud was awarded an Honorary Palme d’Or, 57 years after his first appearance at the fest at age 14 in Francois Truffaut’s 400 Blows. Cinema Guild will release Death of Louis XIV theatrically in early 2017. Set in Versailles in August 1715, the film centers on Louis XIV (Léaud), who feels a pain in his leg after going for a walk. The next days, the Sun King fulfills his duties and obligations but has trouble sleeping. A serious fever erupts, which marks the start of the slow agony of the greatest King of France. Surrounded by doctors and family, he struggles to run the country from his bed. “Following Don Quixote, the Three Kings, Dracula and Casanova, Albert Serra transmutes another great icon,” said Cinema Guild Head of Distribution Blandine Mercier-McGovern, who negotiated the deal with Julien Rejl of Capricci Films.
FilmBuff has picked up worldwide rights to I Am Gangster, the debut of writer-director Moritz Rechenberg. The drama from Reflektiv Film Company, which has its West Coast premiere Saturday at Dance with Films, will get a VOD release later this year. The slice-of-life pic revolves around three young men trying to survive on a daily basis in East Los Angeles. Idealistic rookie cop David (Rick Mancia) is able to keep his family safe until use-of-force incidents put him under pressure to make a fateful decision. Hardcore gang member Lito (Abraham Bobadilla) steps into dangerous territory when he defies gang matriarch Tia (Marlene Forte) in his hustle for wealth and power. At the same time, rebellious teenager Rio (Gilberto Ortiz) flirts with gang life until he has to deal with his own guilt over a tragic death. “We at Reflektiv wanted to make a good film, tell an important story and get it out to the people,” Rechenberg said. “FilmBuff is a great place for our film as they have successfully distributed other indie films in the marketplace.”