Studiocanal & WTFilms Announce Genre-Focused Partnership Following Successful Collaboration On Xavier Gens’ ‘Farang’

Studiocanal has announced a partnership with French production and sales company WTFilms (What The Films).

The collaboration will focus on genre films to produce and distribute French language and European content with global appeal.

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The partnership is a further sign of Studiocanal’s desire to increase its presence in the genre space and follows the recent announcement of Jed Benedict’s return to the company to run a new genre label.

The French production team at Studiocanal will work together with Benedict on the WTFilms partnership and development slate.

The agreement was signed at the end of February 2024 follows a successful collaboration on Xavier Gens’ 2023 action movie Farang.

The France and Thailand-set picture, which Deadline spotlighted as a Global Breakout last summer, stars actor and former kickbox champion Nassim Lyes plays Sam as a prisoner forced on the run when his past violently catches up with him.

The production combined the talents of Gens and UK action designer Jude Poyer, who first met on the set of Sky Atlantic and AMC crime thriller series Gangs of London.

WTFilms lead produced the movie, while Studiocanal handled international sales and French distribution, theatrically launching the film last July in France where it grossed more than $1.5M.

The movie was released by IFC Films in the U.S. under the international title of Mayhem!, having made its North American premiere at Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal last August.

The new partnership deal will run for a minimum period of two years, with Studiocanal involved as co-producer and distributor on selected WTFilms projects across action, thriller, science fiction and horror.

“We are very happy with the agreement signed with WTFilms. Driven by our successful work together on Farang, this continues a relationship we greatly value and is one of trust and creativity that we wish to perpetuate,” said Studiocanal Director of French Production François Mergier and Head Of French Production Assia Barge, who negotiated the agreement for Studiocanal.

“The WTFilms teams are experts in their field and enthusiasts of genre films, who will bring a lot to Studiocanal. This partnership is so promising, and we hope to bring incredible genre projects to audiences worldwide in years to come,” they added.

WTFilms cofounders Dimitri Stephanides and Gregory Chambet said they were delighted to be tying up with Studiocanal, noting that their experiences on Farang had reinforced their focus on genre.

“Since its beginning, the DNA of WTFilms has been closely linked to our personal taste for this cinema. Today, we are very enthusiastic about the idea of plowing this furrow with Studiocanal, whose ambitions in this area align with ours and those of many talented directors, to produce films with strong commercial potential both in France and abroad.”

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