Cannes: Cohen Group Nabs U.S. Rights to Festival Opener 'Standing Tall'

Emmanuelle Bercot's drama stars Catherine Deneuve and newcomer Rod Paradot.

The Cannes film festival may be gearing up for its grand finale, but the Cohen Media Group has wound things right back to the start, acquiring U.S. rights for opening night film Standing Tall. CMG plans a theatrical release in early 2016.

The French-language film, from actress/director Emmanuelle Bercot and starring Catherine Denueve, tells the story of a troublesome, violent adolescent and his dealings with France's youth law courts. Its breakout star Rod Paradot received much of the critical praise, with The Hollywood Reporter's Jordan Mintzer saying his feature debut was an "electric lead performance."

"Standing Tall is a film of great depth, social importance and it is ultimately a film of great optimism," said CMG chairman and CEO Charles S. Cohen. "This distribution arrangement is a continuation of Cohen Media Group's valued relationships with Emmanuelle Bercot and with our long-standing partners at Elle Driver."

The distribution agreement was negotiated by CMG senior vp John Kochman and Adeline Fontan Tessaur, co-founder and international sales director of Paris-based sales and acquisition banner Elle Driver.

On Thursday CMG announced that it had picked up all North American rights to Turkish family drama and Directors' Fortnight selection Mustang.