EXCLUSIVE: There have been many male-centered films about astronauts, but director Alice Winocour is here to change all of that with her drama Proxima. Vertical Entertainment has acquired the North American distribution rights to the space drama starring Eva Green and Matt Dillon. Proxima is set to hit VOD and digital on November 6.
The film debuted last year at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to screen at the San Sebastian Film Festival where it was honored with the Special Jury Prize. The drama follows Sarah (Green), a French astronaut, and only woman, training at the European Space Agency in Cologne. She lives alone with Stella, her seven-year-old daughter and feels guilty that she cannot spend more time with her child. When Sarah is chosen to be part of the crew of a year-long space mission called Proxima, the mother-daughter relationship becomes intensely strained. Sarah now has to prepare to leave both her planet and her daughter behind.
When Winocour visited Deadline’s studio at TIFF, she said that she had been thinking about making this film for years. “As a kid, I was fascinated by space, but it was more like an abstract and political attraction,” she said. “Then I started to discover this world, and it really swallowed me up. The more I met astronauts, and the more I met their trainers, and the more I visited places, the more I realized that all of those years of training, and all those efforts of the astronauts to leave the Earth, was something that was never shown in films.”
“[For] astronauts, most of their life is spent preparing, and sometimes then they don’t leave,” she added. “I wanted to explore [this] world, but then I realized that what drives me to it is something really intimate. Here, I had this desire to explore this complex relationship between a mother and a daughter.”
The Dharamsala and Darius Films project was produced by Isabelle Madelaine and Emile Tisne. Vertical’s Peter Jarowey and Josh Spector negotiated the rights deal with Marie-Laure Montironi at Pathe.