Archives for january 2010
January 19, 2010Evokative Films is proud to announce that it has acquired the rights of Felix van Groeningen’s THE MISFORTUNATES (DE HELAASHEID DER DINGEN). The film has been chosen to represent Belgium in the race for the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year category at the Oscars 2010. It was also 2009’s biggest box-office hit of Belgium.
Stéphanie Trépanier, Evokative’s founder, says “This film seduced me from the get-go when I saw it in Cannes last year. Its mix of comedy and pathos, its way of making us strangely sympathetic to people who don’t make much effort to get out of their absolutely shitty lives, is absolutely unique. You’ll laugh and cry and laugh again throughout the film.”
Gunther Strobbe is a 13 years old boy growing up in the eighties. He lives in his grandmother's ramshackle house in a small Belgian town with his alcoholic father (a postman with more bars on his route than any of his colleagues) and three alcoholic uncles. Life in the household is clearly dysfunctional, yet it's hard to condemn the Strobbe men for their sins. Their hearts are in the right place – it's just that they can't seem to help turning everything around them into an unmitigated disaster. The Strobbes enter drinking contests and naked bicycle races, teach vulgar songs to little girls. They end up in the hospital to then head right back to the bar the next day. Gunther is an observer in this broken home that reeks of cigarette smoke, spilled beer and sweat-stained clothes. He participates in his drunken uncles' shenanigans only to fit in, hiding his true passion for writing, which is ultimately his key to escaping this squalor.
The film had its World Premiere in the Director’s Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival in 2009, where it got a special mention from the Art Cinema Jury. It then went on to play at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hamptons Film Festival, where it got the Awards for Best Film, Best Script and Best Cinematography, the Pusan International Film Festival and the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montréal, amongst many others.
DE HELAASHEID DER DINGEN (Flemish title) became Belgium’s biggest box-office hit of 2009 with 426 000 tickets sold after its fall release. Released on December 24th in France, LA MERDITUDE DES CHOSES (French title) reached 56 500 tickets sold in two weeks, increasing the number of copies from 39 to 44 and only having a 13% decrease of box-office. THE MISFORTUNATES will be released in the US on February 2nd and will follow in Canada with a Montreal release on March 12th, a Toronto release on April 2nd and a Vancouver release of April 23rd.
THE MISFORTUNATES was produced by IDTV, with International sales handled by MK2 International. The deal was made with Matthieu Giblin at MK2 International during the Unifrance Rendez-Vous of French Cinema a few days ago.
Evokative Films is a boutique film distribution company that releases clever, original and entertaining International independent films that mix up the genres to film enthusiasts across Canada. Its catalogue now counts 12 titles, such as ADRIFT IN TOKYO (Japan), DAYTIME DRINKING (Korea), BLACK (France), PARKING (Taiwan) and DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Denmark).
|Posted in Acquisitions|
January 15, 2010DAYTIME DRINKING, a South-Korean comedic road-movie, will be released on the Evokative Collection of DVDs this February 2nd. Made on a micro-budget, the film seduced critics and audiences alike in the many film festivals where it played, all rallying behind Variety’s opinion that the film is “proof that a good script and simpatico direction and performances can overcome budgetary restrictions.”
DAYTIME DRINKING is the oeuvre of one man, NOH Young-seok, who took on the roles of Producer, Writer and Director, as well as Cinematographer, Production Designer, Editor and Composer of the Original Soundtrack. It stars SONG Sam-dong (GO GO 70s), YOOK Sang-yeob (HAND PHONE), KIM Kang-hee (ROOMMATES - 4 HORROR TALES) and LEE Ran-hee (WELCOME TO DONGMAKGOL).
On a drunken night out with his friends, a broken-hearted young man gets swayed into going to the countryside with them for a getaway. But when he gets there, he finds that not only have none of them have showed up, but the tiny seaside town is shuttered - no shops are open, no tourists are around, the beach is freezing, and there’s no cell phone signal. Unable to return to Seoul, he finds himself in the company of some very unusual locals and, subject to the rigid rules of Korean drinking culture, on an increasingly strange odyssey nursing a never-ending hangover. Ushering a new era of independent filmmaking in South Korea, DAYTIME DRINKING is a comedy in the spirit of STRANGER THAN PARADISE and SIDEWAYS - but with a distinctly Korean twist.
DAYTIME DRINKING started its festival career at the Jeonju International Film Festival in 2008, where it won the JJ-Star Award and the Audience Critics Award, to follow with the Locarno International Film Festival, where it won a Special Mention of the Jury and a NETPAC Award, and the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2009 it followed with the Vesoul Asian Film Festival, where it won an Inalco Jury Award and then, amongst many others, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the SXSW Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival and the Fantasia International Film Festival.
The DVD features Korean dialogue with optional English and French subtitles in yellow. A making-of, a deleted scene, an alternate take of Hyuk-jin’s nightmare and the original soundtrack are included as extra features. The packaging includes a booklet with a Director’s note and a foreword by Grady Hendrix, co-director of the New York Asian Film Festival. In accordance with the innovative vocation of Evokative, the DVD packaging is an environmentally-friendly and elegant digipack made of 100% recycled materials and wrapped in a 100% biodegradable cellophane.
|Posted in DVD Releases|
January 07, 2010Stephanie was very honored to become one of Montreal's Noizemakers of 2010!
A tradition for many years, The Montreal Mirror starts the new year with the Noizemakers issue, where the efforts of a few Montrealers working in cultural or community areas are highlighted.
Article by Mark Slutsky, Film Editor of The Montreal Mirror
Evokative Films is a small distributor with a diverse mandate
"When I was at Fantasia, I’d see huge line-ups of people and how excited everybody was,” says Stephanie Trepanier. “I couldn’t understand why some of these films would get a sold-out crowd of 700 people, people being excited and lining up for an hour before the film, and no distributors would pick up the film afterwards. It plays at Fantasia and it’s done and you never see it again. I saw the enthusiasm and thought there has to be a market out there that isn’t being catered to, that I could concentrate on and try to please.”
Ask anyone who’s ever worked in film distribution and they’ll tell you: it’s one of the toughest, least glamorous links in the movie-making chain. So it’s pretty amazing what Evokative Films, a tiny local distributor with only three employees, has managed to accomplish in a year: five theatrical releases and five DVDs on store shelves, all out of company founder Trepanier’s Park Ex loft.
Evokative’s consistently interesting slate of films defies easy description, with movies ranging from the rambling, understated Japanese comedy Adrift in Tokyo to Korean boxing saga Crying Fist to French neo-blaxploitation actioner Black. “I think what unites the films is it’s always a mix of genres,” says Trepanier. “It’s never just a thriller. It’s going to be a mix of thriller and psychological drama, or a road movie that’s a comedy but also a little bit dramatic. There’s always a mix of emotions. I kind of like that.”
Trepanier, who got her start at Fantasia (and is still associated with the fest as a programmer) before working as a publicist for the ill-fated Christal Films, prides herself on Evokative’s signature look and style. Their beautifully designed DVDs—the latest being Adrift in Tokyo, in stores as of late December—are instantly recognizable, with a signature red band at the bottom. “I’m really happy with the way the company’s perceived now and how we’ve managed to develop as a brand in just a year,” she says. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do from the beginning. I come from marketing and I always thought that one thing that was missing from DVD distribution was to have a strong brand.”
Plans for 2010 include “surviving,” Trepanier laughs, “but in terms of films, there’s Deliver Us From Evil”—a Straw Dogs-ian Danish thriller—“in March, as well as the launch of the Black DVD, which didn’t do so well in theatres but I think on DVD it could do really well, across Quebec, because it’s in French and it’s action and everything.”
|Posted in In the Press|
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