Music Box Films just acquired all North American rights to Frantz, François Ozon’s latest feature that has its international premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival. The film, which was inspired by Ernest Lubitsch’s 1932 film Broken Lullaby, had its North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival before going on to a Special Presentations slot at the Toronto International Film Festival. Music Box plans to release the film in 2017, at the end of the first quarter.
The film is set in a small German town after the country’s defeat in World War I. Anna (Paula Beer) mourns every day at the grave of her fiancé Frantz, who was killed the year before in a battle in France. One day she sees a man (Pierre Niney) laying flowers at Frantz’s grave who claims to be a friend of his. Their bond of sorrow propels a surprising and haunting tale of guilt and forgiveness.
Mandarin Films, the same production company for Ozon’s films since his 2010 film Potiche, produced the film. Music Box previously worked with the filmmaker the 2010 film and has released several Mandarin Film productions over the past eight years. Included in that long list is the more recent The Innocents from Anne Fontaine.
The deal terms were negotiated by Films Distribution partner Nicolas Brigaud-Robert and Music Box Films president William Schopf.