Back to archive

France’s Diaphana Distribution takes a trip to The Ardennes


Paris-based Diaphana Distribution has picked up Robin Pront’s feature debut The Ardennes for French distribution following a bidding war after the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Rights to Italy had already been sold to Satine Film prior to the first public screening, and it is likely that more deals will follow soon.

‘This is a stunning debut from an important new filmmaker and, from the reaction this film has already received from audiences at TIFF, it will no doubt make a lasting impression on our audiences in France’, says Diaphana’s Karin Beyens.

The Ardennes centres on two criminal brothers, Dave and Kenny, who are reunited on Kenny’s release after four years in prison because of a robbery that went wrong. Dave has got his life back on track and tries to help his brother wherever possible, but has to cope with the highly-strung Kenny’s attempts to win back his ex-girlfriend. The main cast includes Jeroen Perceval (Borgman), The Broken Circle Breakdown’s Veerle Baetens and Kevin Janssens.

The deal was negotiated by Xiaojuan Zhou’s Attraction Distribution during the Toronto International Film Festival, where The Ardennes premiered in the Discovery section. Satine Film acquired the Italian rights, having previously released Felix van Groeningen’s Oscar-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown.

Pront and Jeroen Perceval scripted The Ardennes. Producer is Bart Van Langendonck of Savage Film, whose credits include Michaël R. Roskam’s Oscar-nominated Bullhead and who will team up again with Roskam on his next project, The Faithful, starring Matthias Schoenaerts and Adèle Exarchopoulos.

The Ardennes received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Sven Gatz and was also backed by the Screen Flanders Economic Fund, under the aegis of Flemish Economic Affairs Minister Philippe Muyters and Cultural Affairs Minister Gatz.