French titles in Toronto without U.S. deals

Only 14 of 31 French films in lineup have U.S. distribution

TORONTO -- Gaul continues to bless America with films, but a slew of French titles await U.S. deals going into the Toronto International Film Festival.

Only 14 of the 31 French films bound for Toronto have U.S. distribution, according to national promotion agency Unifrance.

"Amelie" director Jean-Pierre Jeunet will debut his weapons comedy "Micmacs A Tire-Larigot" as a gala at Roy Thomson Hall ahead of an October Gallic release by Warner Bros. France, but has yet to line up theatrical distribution stateside.

French sales agents will also be in Toronto to shop Francois Ozon's "Le Refuge," Claire Denis' "White Material" and Israeli director Amos Gitai's "Carmel," an Israel-France co-production, and Gaspar Noe's "Enter The Void."

And in the high-profile Special Presentations sidebar, French titles up for grabs include Christian Carion's "Farewell," "Hadewijch," by Bruno Dumont, Jean-Marie et Arnaud Larrieu's "Les Derniers jours du monde," and "London River," a French-British co-production from director Rachid Bouchareb.

French films are part of Toronto's bread-and-butter market, typically securing deals for Cannes premieres making their North American bows here.

Last year, Regent Releasing snapped up the North American rights to Brillante Mendoza's "Serbis," a Philippines/ French production, while Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group scooped the French thriller "Vinyan" from director Fabrice Du Welz and starring Rufus Sewell and Emmanuelle Beart.

Also hoping their visibility in Toronto this September will net them U.S. deals are Raoul Peck's "Moloch Tropical," Catherine Corsini's "Partir," which stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Sergi Lopez, "The Illusionist," by Sylvain Chomet and Johnnie To's "Vengeance," a Hong Kong-France co-production.

Elsewhere, Discovery titles without U.S. deals include Philippe Van Leeuw's "Le Jour ou Dieu est parti en voyage" and Dima El-Horr's "Every Day is a Holiday."
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