Best Friend Forever Closes Major Deals on Cannes Competition, TIFF Bound ‘Banel & Adama,’ Unveils International Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

Brussels-based company Best Friend Forever has revealed a raft of deals for key territories for Ramata-Toulaye Sy‘s feature film debut, “Banel & Adama,” which played in competition in Cannes and makes its North American premiere in Toronto. Variety reviewed it as “a dreamlike debut” in May.

The film just won the Melbourne International Film Festival’s top prize, the Bright Horizons Award.

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The film was sold in Benelux (Cherry Pickers), Switzerland (trigon-films), Scandinavia (Njuta Films), Australia and New Zealand (Ahi), South Korea (Green Narae Media), Spain (Filmin), Greece (Cinobo), Portugal (Alambique), Poland (Afrykamera), and Baltics (From Afar). North America, U.K. and Japan are in discussions among others.

Previously announced deals are Tandem Films for French distribution, who just released the title in France and Pathé BC Afrique is releasing in Senegal on Oct. 4.

Ahead of TIFF, Best Friend Forever also unveiled the international trailer in exclusivity with Variety.

Ramata-Toulaye Sy is a Femis alum, and is known for the 2022 short film “Astel,” which was awarded IMDBPro #ShareHerJourney Award in TIFF and Special Jury award in Clermont ISFF. It played in more that 80 festivals, including Fespaco and New Directors/New Films, and won more than 20 awards. Ramata previously co-wrote TIFF and Berlinale 2019 “Our Lady of the Nil” and Locarno Competition and TIFF 2018 “Sibel.”

The Pulaar speaking film is set in North of Senegal in a small remote village today. Banel and Adama are fiercely in love. Longing for a home of their own, they have decided to live apart from their families and that Adama will not accept his blood duty as future chief. But when Adama informs the village council of his intentions, the whole community is disrupted. The rain that is supposed to come does not come. Soon enough, Banel and Adama learn that where they live, there is no room for passions, let alone for chaos.

“Banel & Adama” is produced by Eric Névé and Maud Leclair Névé for La Chauve-Souris (“The Pirogue,” “Wùlu”), Margaux Juvénal for Take Shelter, and coproduced by Souleymane Kébé for Astou Production.

Best Friend Forever Fall line-up also includes Venice Horizons competition and TIFF title “City of Wind” by Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir, Directors’ Fortnight and Fantastic Fest Belgian thriller “The Other Laurens” by Claude Schmitz, and Sundance and Berlinale winner “Mutt” by Vuk Lungulov-Klotz.

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