Have the French found God?
Given the crop of projects being shopped at the Cannes film market that features Christian-themed narratives — notably An Interview With God, Samson and God Bless the Broken Road — and with Wim Wenders’ doc Pope Francis: A Man of His Word playing as an official selection at the festival, there are signs that fare once ignored by international buyers and Cannes programmers is receiving a warm welcome.
In addition, the U.S. breakout I Can Only Imagine is heating up the market, with Lionsgate scooping up rights for China, a once unthinkable territory for a faith-based film. The project’s producer Cindy Bond is selling overseas territories through her Mission Pictures International and has landed deals here on the ground for the U.K. (The Lighthouse Alliance) and Poland (Kino Swiat) after selling the film pre-Cannes in Latin America, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, Singapore, Australia/New Zealand, South Africa, Korea, Russia and the Middle East. She is now negotiating for Scandinavia and Benelux.Though I Can Only Imagine is the highest-grossing 2018 indie in the U.S. — with an $82 million haul so far — it doesn’t appear to be an outlier. An Interview With God, which stars David Strathairn and Brenton Thwaites, also is finding traction with foreign buyers. Film Bridge International’s Ellen Wander, who is selling the feature, is in the process of closing deals for the U.K., Australia, the Philippines, Germany and Latin America.
Below is the trailer for Wim Wenders’ “Pope Francis: A Man of His Word.”