EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures International has acquired French rights for Italian actress and screenwriter Paola Cortellesi’s feature directorial debut hit There’s Still Tomorrow, in a deal brokered by Vision Distribution.
The drama is currently enjoying a phenomenal box office run in Italy where it has clocked up almost two million admissions since its theatrical launch on October 26 for a box office of some €13m.
It is the best result for an Italian film this year and the biggest box office for a local picture since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
Set in the lead up to Italy’s historic post-World War Two institutional referendum on June 2, 1946, in which women were allowed to vote for the first time, the film world premiered as the opening film of the Rome Film Festival in October.
Cortellesi stars as a downtrodden Rome housewife run ragged by her violent husband (Valerio Mastandrea) and unruly young sons as she juggles odd jobs in between cooking, cleaning and caring for her misogynist bedridden father-in-law.
It looks like her teenage daughter might avoid the same fate through her engagement to her middle-class boyfriend, until his possessive streak starts to emerge. When a mysterious letter arrives, it fires up the protagonist’s courage to overturn convention and start wishing for a better life – and not just for herself.
The work, which is shot in black-and-white but features a quirky contemporary soundtrack, clinched three awards at Rome: Jury Prize, Audience Prize and Special Jury Mention as Best First Feature.
“Speaking on behalf of the entire team at Universal Pictures International France, we are extremely proud and feel privileged to distribute this cinematic jewel in our territory,” said Xavier Albert, MD of Universal Pictures International, France.
“Not only does this beautiful film address a very important theme but it is also exactly what the theatrical audience is expecting: a strong original emotional story told with so much audacity by a visionary female director. We really believe this film has some universal appeal and we are very impatient to have the French audience discover Paola Cortellesi, one of the biggest Italian talents.”
Vision Distribution CEO Massimiliano Orfei welcomed the collaboration with UPI France.
“There’s Still Tomorrow confirms Vision’s strategy and ability in selecting stories that can have an international appeal for worldwide market,” he said, adding: “With There’s Still Tomorrow we can say that Italy is out of the negative trend started during the pandemic. A new wave that brings back the leadership of content in theatres is finally welcome.”
Other fresh deals include to Denmark, Finland and Norway ( Future Films) and Greece (Weirdwave).
As previously announced, the film has also sold to Spain (Bteam), Australia and (Limelight), Benelux (Arti Film), Brazil (Pandora), Sweden (Folkets Bio), Portugal (Sorpasso), Switzerland (MFD), Hungary (Mozinet), Taiwan (Swallow Wings) for Taiwan and Bulgaria (Beta Film) and Israel (Lev/Shani).
The picture is produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Gangarossa for Wildside, a Fremantle Company, and Vision Distribution, a SKY Company, which is also handling the Italian theatrical release.
There’s Still Tomorrow is among a raft of buzzy feature films to come out of the Fremantle stall this year alongside Venice Golden Lion winner Poor Things and Priscilla, which is also making waves at the U.S. box office.