October 3, 2022
Buyers Flock to Leonor Serraille's Competition Film 'Mother and Son'

MK2 Films has locked major territory deals on Leonor Serraille’s drama “Mother and Son” which world premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and garnered strong reviews.

“Mother and Son” charts the lives of a young African woman, Rose, and two of her four children, Jean and Ernest, who come to France from the Ivory Coast in the 1980s with high ideals. Juggling her parenting responsibilities and low-paying jobs, Rose still aspires to find true love and to fulfill her own desires, but she ultimately struggles to reach a balance between her roles as a mother and a woman. Jean and Ernest, meanwhile, will take different paths to fitting into French society while coping with their identity conflicts and their mother’s life choices.

MK2 Films has sold the movie to the U.K. (Picture House), Spain (Vertigo), Italy (Teodora), Sweden (Triart), Benelux (Cherry Pickers), Greece (One From the Heart), Portugal (Leopardo), Norway (Arthaus), Denmark (Angel), Switzerland (Cineworx), Australia/New Zealand (Hi Gloss) and Taiwan (Andrews). More deals are in negotiations.

Variety’s Guy Lodge described the film as a “softly shattering story of immigrants finding themselves and losing each other;” and said it was an “emotionally acute, elegantly trisected second feature.”

“Mother and Son” marks the sophomore outing of Serraille who won the Camera d’Or prize with her feature debut “Jeune Femme” five years ago. Serraille is one of the five female directors competing for this year’s Palme d’Or.

On the surface, “Mother and Son” marks a departure from “Jeune Femme,” whose tragicomic plot revolved around a young single woman going through a painful breakup. But in fact, both movies deliver multi-faceted portraits of women faced with adversity.

“Rose and Paula [the protagonist of ‘Jeune Femme’] have things in common, they’re both complex and singular female characters,” said Serraille, who praised Annabelle Lengronne for her performance, “spanning different ages and mixing lightheartedness, fantasy and tragedy,” Serraille told Variety.

“Mother and Son” was produced by Blue Monday Productions, in co-production with France 3 Cinéma, in association with Palatine Etoile 18 and Cofinova 17.

The movie showcases stellar performances by Annabelle Lengronne, Stéphane Bak, Ahmed Sylla, Kenzo Sambin and Sidi Fofana. The cast is completed by Audrey Kouakou, Étienne Minoungou, Thibaut Evrard, Jean-Christophe Folly, Laetitia Dosch.

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