Netflix Acquires French Film 'DNA,' Directed by and Starring Maiwenn

DNA
Le Pacte

Maiwenn's sixth feature as a director was picked for the official 2020 Cannes Selection and premiered at the Deauville American Film Festival.

Netflix has snatched up another hot French film, acquiring English-language rights in North America, the U.K., Australia/New Zealand, South Africa and the Middle East for DNA, the latest drama by and starring multitalent Maïwenn (Polisse). 

In her sixth feature as a director, Maïwenn stars as Neige, a divorced mother of three who retains a close connection to her Algerian grandfather, visiting him regularly in the nursing home where he lives. She has strained relationships with other members of the family but is still close to her ex, François, played by Little Women actor Louis Garrel.

Fanny Ardant plays her mother, and up-and-coming French actor Dylan Robert (Sheherazade) plays Neige's eldest son Kevin. 

Maïwenn co-wrote DNA with Mathieu Demy. Why Not Productions and Arte France Cinéma produced the film with Mélissa Malinbaum and Martine Cassinelli as executive producers. 

Maïwenn had her international breakthrough as an actress in 1997 in a supporting role in Luc Besson's The Fifth Element as the alien Diva Bazina, but since her feature debut in 2006 with Pardonnez-moi, she has been as well known, in France at least, as a director. Her 2011 crime drama Polisse won the Jury Prize in Cannes and her 2015 follow-up Mon roi also premiered in competition there. DNA was originally picked as part of the 2020 Cannes Official Selection but, because Cannes was forced to cancel this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the film had its official premiere earlier this month at the American Film Festival in Deauville before heading to the San Sebastian and Zurich film fests.

Wild Bunch International, who are handling sales on DNA, lined up deals in multiple territories, including with The Searchers for Benelux, Fenix for Italy, Non-Stop for Scandinavia, Best Films for Poland and Lev Cinema for Israel among many other deals. 

Le Pacte has DNA in France and will release it in local cinemas there on October 28. 

DNA is the latest in a string of high-profile French films snatched up by Netflix. Last year the streamer acquired Mati Diop's Atlantics following its Cannes premiere (the film went on to win the Grand Jury prize). More recently, Netflix acquired Cuties from first-time French director Maïmouna Doucouré. Netflix has stood behind the film even as it became the target of online criticism