Competing in the Short Film Competition at the Cannes Film Festival
AVE MARIA Sells to Canal+ and Signs with Two Distributors MAD Solutions and Ouat Media
With its world premiere in the Short Film Competition at Cannes Film Festival (from 13 to 24 May 2015) fast-approaching, the French pay-tv broadcaster Canal+ signed an agreement with Paris-based Incognito Films, the producer of the film, to acquire the exclusive French pay-tv rights to the short comedy Palestinian film AVE MARIA, directed by Basil Khalil. Incognito films has also signed on with MAD Solutions to distribute the film in the Arab world and Ouat Media for international distribution.
AVE MARIA is also scheduled for a screening at the Sydney Film Festival (from 3 to 14 June), with two screenings on Saturday, 6th of June and Tuesday, 9th of June.
The 14-minute film tells the story of the Nuns of the 'Sisters of Mercy' convent in the West Bank wilderness whose daily routine of silence and prayer is disrupted when a family of religious Israeli settlers crash their car into the convent's wall. With the Sabbath fast approaching they need to get home urgently. However, because of the Sabbath laws, the Israelis can't operate their phones to call for assistance and the Nuns have taken a vow of silence. Together they have to come up with an unorthodox plan to help the family get home.
The film's title, AVE MARIA, is taken from the Latin prayer which means Hail Mary. It stars Maria Zreik, Huda Al Imam, Shady Srour, Ruth Farhi and Maya Koren. Basil Khalil co-wrote the film with Daniel Y├í├▒ez.
Basil was born and raised in Nazareth, to a Palestinian father and an English mother. He has a Masters degree in Screen Project Development from Screen Academy Scotland. He later worked on television productions in London while developing a comedy feature screenplay titled A Gaza Weekend, which took part in the Torino Film Lab and the Sundance Institute/Rawi Screenwriter's Lab.
AVE MARIA is produced by Incognito Films, in collaboration with Flying Moon Film Production , supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung, Germany.
Incognito Films was first established by Eric Dupont, who's been working in the film industry for over 15 years. He worked at Fildebroc, a Paris-based film production company, running their development slates. He co-produced several films along with producer Michelle de Broca, that were directed by Cannes Film Festival contender Rolf de Heer and Oscar nominee Dominique Deruddere. Eric also worked for the London-based talent and literary agency Hamilton Hodell.
Composed of a range of genres and budgets, Incognito Films' current development slate features art-house features and new indie movies from American and European cult directors and international co-producers.
Ouat Media is an Academy Award winning film sales and distribution company, based in Toronto, Canada. It represents high-profile and award-winning short films and now feature film documentaries from the world's top emerging filmmakers. Ouat Media is owned and operated by Channel Zero Inc.
Screening Schedule of AVE MARIA at the Cannes Film Festival GMT +2
- Press screening: Tuesday, 19th of May at 11:00 am at Bazin Theatre.
- Official screening: Saturday, 23rd of May at 10:00 am at Debussy Theatre.
- Repeat screening: Saturday, 23rd of May at 4:00 pm at Bu├▒uel Theatre.