EXCLUSIVE: Newen Connect has unveiled a raft of deals on Canadian director Christian Duguay’s new feature Ride Above, starring Carmen Kassovitz as a teenager raised in a horse racing milieu who rises above the challenges of a tragic, life-changing accident.
The film has sold to Germany (DCM Film Distribution), Austria (Polyfilm), Spain (Deaplaneta), Portugal (Lusomundo), Italy (Eagle Pictures), Switzerland (Pathé) Belgium (Vertigo) Poland (Best Film), Czech & Slovak Rep. (AQS), Bulgaria (Beta Film), Canada (Films Opale) Australia (Madman), Singapore (Shaw Renters), Latin America (CDC United Networks) and Skeye (Airlines).
Pathé is gearing up to give the film a wide in France on December 21.
Kassovitz plays a teenager who has been born and raised with horses at her parent’s racehorse stable. From an early age, the rider forges a deep exceptional bond with a young horse, in whom she sees a champion.
A tragic accident threatens to bring both their racing careers to an end, but against the odds, over the arc of 15 years, they will battle tirelessly together to achieve victory.
Melanie Thierry and Pio Marmai co-star as the girl’s parents.
“We love this movie which illustrates so much how humans, animals and nature are connected to each other, and how this indefectible bound makes us stronger,” said Sabine Chemaly, EVP International Distribution at Newen Connect.
“Together the horse and the girl will conquer the impossible. Passion, resilience, and courage are inspiring values nowadays and we are delighted to work with such great partners across the world.”
The production has collaborated with a number of different specialists to faithfully capture the reality of riding with a disability.
France Handicap, the major local association in charge of the defense and representation of people with disabilities, oversaw the production’s interaction with professionals like ergo therapists, physiotherapists, and handi-sport managers.
On the equine side, key crew included Pierre Levesque, former renowned jockey and coach, credited as trot advisor and Mario Luraschi a movie reference for dressage, as well as stunt and horse-breaking specialist.
The €15m production, shot over 10 weeks in Normandy and the Ile-de-France region, is lead produced by Maxime Delaunay and Romain Rousseau at Paris-based Nolita Cinema. Their previous credits include Jean-Paul Rouve’s Memories and Lucien Jean-Baptiste’s He Has Your Eyes.
Coproducers were TF1 Studio, France 2 Cinema and Pathe Film while Canal + and France 2 pre-bought the film.
Duguay has a track record in bringing animal and child-focused stories to the big screen with previous credits including Jappeloup (2013), Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues (2015) and A Bag of Marbles (2017)