Paris-based Haut et Court has secured the French distribution rights with distribution agent Film Factory Entertainment to Victor Erice’s ‘Close Your Eyes’ (‘Cerrar los ojos’), the legendary Spanish director’s return to feature film directing 30 years after winning the award the Cannes jury. Dream of Light” and half a century after his landmark debut “The Spirit of the Beehive”.
Beehive is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest Spanish films ever made. “Light” was voted the best film of the 1990s by the world’s cinematheques. Close Your Eyes reunites Erice with Ana Torrent, a small-eyed mite from Beehive.
One of the most anticipated Spanish films of 2023, it will be released in Spain by Avalon Films, the producer and distributor of Alcarràs.
Close Your Eyes is about a famous actor who disappears while filming a movie. Many years later, a television program shows the final scenes he shot, the beginning and end of a film directed by his close friend.
Film Factory calls Close Your Eyes a “compelling reflection on identity, memory and filmmaking”.
“The acquisition of the film by Haut et Court in France is a great success,” said Vicente Canales, Managing Director of Film Factory, adding that the deal “positions Close Your Eyes as one of the most important films of the year.” the independent French market.”
Erice’s new film is a heartbreaking reflection on the profound relationships between cinema and life,” Haut et Court CEO Carole Scotta told Variety.
“We couldn’t be prouder to be the French distributor of Close Your Eyes,” she added.
France is at the forefront of quality foreign language films, both in terms of the scale of companies acquiring titles for distribution and their subsequent box office returns. The Haut et Court acquisition will only fuel expectations for further sales of a title that meets several criteria: a star author, most likely a major festival; a marketing hook in Erice’s return, but to be honest he’s consistently done shorter works that dazzled.
In 2002, Variety called Erice’s “hypnotizingly poetic” interlude Lifeline, part of the anthology Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet, “the most impressive 11-minute film to screen at Cannes that year.”
A gold-standard production and distribution house, Haut et Court has earned a reputation for handling films that glorify their makers, from Laurent Cantet’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning The Class to Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann . Last year it drew attention to Dominik Moll’s somber procedural The Night of the 12th, which won the Toscan du Plantier award on February 13, to 509,511 ticket sales, despite a generally despondent French box office.
Close Your Eyes is the third Film Factory title to be released by Haut et Court, following the Berlin competition entry The Accused and Alejandro Amenábar’s While at War.
One of the most powerful sales agents in the Spanish-speaking world, Film Factory’s Berlin European Film Market listing also includes ‘Blondi’, the directorial debut of actress, writer and producer Dolores Fonzi, an odd mother-son comedy from ‘Argentina, 1985′. Producer La Unión de los Ríos, and Something Is About to Happen, a low-key thriller with surreal black comedy accents from Esparza, a 2012 Cannes Critics’ Week (‘Aquí y Allá) winner and 2018 Independent Spirits award winner (‘ Life and Nothing More”). More eye-catching titles to be announced soon.