Kino Lorber has landed worldwide rights in U.S. and anglophone Canada to “The Worst Ones” ahead of its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret’s drama scored the top prize in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section. Deadline broke the news about the acquisition.
Penned by Akoka, Gueret, and Eleonore Gurrey, “The Worst Ones” is set in the suburbs of Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France and “captures a film within a film as it follows the production of a movie whose director turns to the local housing project for casting. Eager to capture performances of gritty authenticity, the director selects four working class teenagers to act in the film to the surprise and consternation of the local community, who question the director’s choice of ‘the worst ones.’ As the director and crew audition, rehearse, film, and interact with their hand-picked cast, jealousies are stoked, lines are crossed, and ethical questions arise,” the source details.
“One of the finest films in this Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, and its top prize winner, ‘The Worst Ones’ is an impressive debut from Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret, two astute, insightful filmmakers whose sharp eye for talent is on display in the incredible performances from their young cast of non-professional actors,” said Richard Lorber, President & CEO of Kino Lorber. “They elevate this to an even more ambitious conceptual level as they shapeshift between their characters’ scripted roles and real lives. Never less than dramatically compelling, it’s also metacinema of the highest order.”
Akoka and Gueret added, “We could not be happier that our movie is being distributed in the U.S. and has the opportunity to be seen by the American public. We hope that viewers will be touched by the universal message of the film, although it is deeply based in the north of France. We are also honored that the movie is being distributed by the amazing Kino Lorber, which has distributed some of the best French filmmakers and more globally the new generation of innovative cinema.”
“We hope that ‘The Worst Ones’ can become the chosen ones, the heroes, and we understand it as a beautiful tribute to all these children damaged by life,” the filmmakers told us. “Regardless of their background and their level of education, their innate gift transcends class logic. Some kids are artists who ignore themselves, even if their chance to express themselves is rarer in certain circles.”