Neon has scooped up North American rights to Céline Sciamma’s sixth feature directorial Petite Maman, bringing the Oscar-winning film studio back in business with the French filmmaker behind 2019’s award-winning pic Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Already there is great word of mouth brewing from critics on Sciamma’s new title out of its world premiere at the Berlinale.
The drama stars sisters Joséphine Sanz and Gabrielle Sanz, with Nina Meurisse, Stéphane Varupenne and Margot Abascal. In Pete Maman, 8-year-old Nelly has just lost her beloved grandmother and is helping her parents clean out her mother’s childhood home. She explores the house and the surrounding woods where her mom, Marion, used to play and built the treehouse she’s heard so much about. One day her mother abruptly leaves. That’s when Nelly meets a girl her own age in the woods building a treehouse. Her name is Marion.
Bénédicte Couvreur of Lilies Films produced the movie which was shot by cinematographer Claire Mathon, one of Sciamma’s frequent collaborators. Sciamma wrote and directed Petite Maman. Jeff Deutchman negotiated the deal for NEON with Fionnuala Jamison of mk2, who are handling foreign sales.
Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire premiered in competition at Cannes, winning Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm, and rose to critical acclaim, earning BAFTA, Golden Globes, Critics Choice and Independent Spirit Awards nominations, and winning numerous awards including the César Award for Best Cinematography and European Film Award for Best European Screenwriter. Before that, Sciamma’s Girlhood screened in the Quinzaine des réalisateurs at Cannes and won numerous international awards; and Tomboy, opened the 2011 Panorama and won the Teddy Award. Her debut feature film, Water Lilies, also premiered at Cannes in 2007.
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