Charles Gillibert, the thriving French producer behind Leos Carax’s Cannes prizewinning “Annette,” spoke to Variety about his recent acquisition of Les Films du Losange, one of France’s oldest and most revered auteur-driven production and distribution companies.
Gillibert teamed up with French financier Alexis Dantec, former managing director of the film financing group Cofinova, to complete the acquisition deal for Les Films du Losange, which is at Venice with Kavich Neang’s “White Building” playing in the Horizons section.
Les Films du Losange was founded by Barbet Schroeder and Eric Rohmer in 1962 and was under the leadership of Margaret Menegoz since 1975. The award-winning banner, which is also involved in international sales, has been producing cult movies by some of Europe’s best known filmmakers, notably Rohmer, Schroeder, Roger Planchon, Jacques Rivette, Michael Haneke, Jacques Doillon, Mia Hansen-Love.
In total, the company has a library of about 100 prestige films many of which have won a flurry of international awards, including Haneke’s “Amour,” which won Cannes’ Palme d’or, as well as an Oscar and Golden Globe for best foreign-language film; “The White Ribbon,” another film by Haneke produced by Les Films du Losange which won the Palme d’Or and a Golden Globe; Rohmer’s “Le rayon vert,” winner of the Venice Golden Lion; Agnieszka Holland’s Oscar-nominated, Golden Globe-winning “Europa Europa.” The banner also distributed in France many award-winning movies, notably Mia Hansen-Love’s “L’avenir,” produced by Gillibert, which won the Silver Bear for best director; as well as Von Trier’s cult pics such as the Palme d’Or-winning “Dancer in the Dark” and Cannes jury prizewinning “Breaking The Waves.”
“For 60 years, Les Films du Losange has maintained a level of quality and long-lasting bonds with auteurs such as Haneke, Rohmer and Rivette that no other company in Europe has achieved,” says Gillibert, adding that as a distribution company, Les Films du Losange has also contributed to establish directors like Lars von Trier in France.
“It’s a company with an impressive track record with films that have won Oscar, Cesar and BAFTA awards, and their film library is full of cinematic jewels which will make shine bright around the world,” says Gillibert, who said the negotiations to acquire the banner started a year ago. The acquisition, whose figure was not unveiled, was backed by Impala, as well as Coficiné and IFCIC.
Gillibert, who has worked with filmmakers such Hansen-Love, Carax, Olivier Assayas, Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Pietro Marcello, says it’s a crucial time for independent producers to work closer than ever with auteurs.
“The status of authorship has been weakened in recent years and that’s why we’re eager to build a sanctuary for iconic as well as emerging auteurs for the decades to come and navigate with them in this new environment with a clear strategy on theatrical and digital,” says Gillibert, who adds that Les Films du Losange’s veteran head of distribution Regine Vial and head of international sales Alice Lesort will play an important role in building this strategy.
The producer says he plans on ramping up the company’s volume of production and will also do a lot more with the library, through restorations, re-releases, sales, exhibitions and retrospectives. Gillibert is now president of Les Films du Losange, while Alexis Dantec is managing director of the company who has about 15 staff members, including Vial and Lesort.
“Our new team will widen our search for new films and our discovery of authors from all over the world who touch us by the strength of their own universe and their view of our world. It is by working closely with these films with today’s digital means that we will be able to share our passion with the greatest possible audience,” says Vial.
Lesort says “CG Cinéma and Les Films du Losange share a common DNA, as both companies are committed to supporting great authors in their most ambitious projects, just as Margaret Menegoz has been able to do for 50 years,” says the sales executive.
“As a producer, Charles Gillibert has always proved his ability to take advantage of these challenges, by working with strong international partners, as well as adjusting a tailored international release strategy for each project,” adds Lesort.
CG Cinema and Les Films du Losange are currently working together on Alain Guiraudie’s upcoming film “Nobody’s Hero,” which Gillibert has produced. Les Films du Losange’s slate also includes Hansen-Love’s next film “One Fine Morning” with Léa Seydoux and Kasja Naess’s Norwegian animated film “Titina.”