EXCLUSIVE: At the EFM Studiocanal will be looking to capitalize on the surge for smart, cross-over documentaries with Capital In The 21st Century, based on Thomas Piketty’s New York Times bestselling polemic of the same name about how capitalism affects our world today.
Currently in its final stages of post-production, JB Dunckel of French electro band Air is arranging music for the English-language film, which Studiocanal will be selling off of a new trailer here in Berlin. Fellow Vivendi subsidiary Upside Distribution was previously handling sales but the project has been moved up to the Studiocanal slate.
Piketty’s book, which has sold more than 3M copies worldwide, breaks with the popular assumption that the accumulation of capital runs hand in hand with social progress. The book focuses on wealth and income inequality in Europe and the U.S. since the 18th century with a central thesis that inequality is not an accident but rather a feature of capitalism that can be reversed only through state intervention.
The film will feature talking heads including economist Piketty, Nobel winner Joseph Stiglitz and political scientist Ian Bremmer. Producer Yann Le Prado told us, “Capitalism itself is of course the biggest character in the movie. We intersperse the film with archive clips from famous films and TV series like Wall Street, Pride And Prejudice, The Simpsons to give it a dynamic energy.”
“This is a topical and entertaining film,” Studiocanal’s head of sales and UK MD Anna Marsh told us. “We felt like this was a movie with good theatrical ambition. We had great success with The Beatles: Eight Days A Week and we identified this as another event-style documentary. JB Dunckel’s input gives the film added punch.”
Director is Justin Pemberton (Chasing Great). Also producing are Matthew Metcalfe and the New Zealand Film Commission. Transmission releases in Australia/NZ. Canal+ and France 3 have TV rights in France where Diaphana will release theatrically.
Sundance proved again the strength of the market for thought-provoking documentaries with movies such as Leaving Neverland, Cold Case Hammarskjöld, Ask Dr. Ruth and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez film Knock Down The House among the festival’s most-buzzed about titles.
Studiocanal’s EFM sales slate also includes 3D animation Samsam, Yvan Attal’s My Stupid Dog with Charlotte Gainsboug, Cedric Klapish film Someone Somewhere and German title Close To The Horizon.