IFC to tell 'Christmas Tale' in U.S.

Lands distribution rights for Competition title

CANNES -- IFC Entertainment has scored the first pickup of Cannes' Competition lineup, nabbing U.S. rights to Arnaud Desplechin's French drama "A Christmas Tale" (Un Conte de Noel), starring Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Roussillon.

The film revolves around a couple that has a third child in order to help their son get a potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant. After the sick child dies, the family members become increasingly contentious and dysfunctional until another ill member brings them together again over the holidays.

Why Not Prods. and Pascal Caucheteux produced the film, written by Desplechin and Emmanuel Bourdieu. The film has its world premiere Friday.

IFC has become one of the biggest U.S. buyers in Cannes, picking up two Palme d'Or winners (Cristian Mungiu's "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" and Ken Loach's "The Wind That Shakes the Barley") in recent years and 10 other fest films last year alone.

The distributor will release "Tale" through its IFC In Theaters VOD/theatrical program. IFC's Arianna Bocco negotiated the deal with Wild Bunch.