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Kino Lorber Takes French Sci-Fi Satire ‘L’Empire’ for North America

Kino Lorber has picked up all rights in North America to Bruno Dumont’s sci-fi farce The Empire after its triumphant debut at the Berlin Film Festival last month, where it won the Silver Bear Jury Prize.

Anamaria Vartolomei, Camille Cottin, Lyna Khoudri and Fabrice Luchini star in the French-language feature, which reimagines the world of George Lucas’ Star Wars with its epic sci-fi battle of good versus evil, relocating the action to a sleepy Northern France town and filtering the story through the frankly bonkers mind of the director of Slack Bay, Li’l Quinquin and Coincoin and the Extra-Humans. There are plenty of VFX spaceships and lightsaber battles and only a few gratuitous sex scenes (this is a French film, after all).

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Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release for L’Empire later this year 2024, followed by a home video, educational and digital release across all major platforms.

This marks the sixth collaboration between Dumont and Kino Lorber, who have also released Slack Bay, Li’l Quinquin, Coincoin, 1915, Coincoin and the Extra-Humans and, most recently, Léa Seydoux starrer France stateside.

“We’re exhilarated to board Bruno’s latest excursion into the cinematic future,” said chairman and CEO Richard Lorber. “He pulls off new risks in The Empire with philosophical wit and visual glee, inventing his own brand of special effects to make for stunts like no other. Being a cinephile in the Dumont-osphere has never been so much fun, and our whole Kino Lorber gang is going into space training to navigate with the most adventurous auteur working today. We can’t wait to deliver this huge entertainment payload to American audiences, proving anew Bruno’s got the cinematic right stuff.”

Added Dumont: “To Battle! To Battle! With Kino Lorber again!”

Kino Lorber senior vp Wendy Lidell did the deal for L’Empire with Alexandre Moreau of Memento International, which is handling world sales on the film. L’Empire has already sold widely, with deals for France (ARP), Benelux (Cineart), Italy (Academy Two), Sweden (Njuta), Ex-Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom), Bulgaria (Beta Film), Hungary (Vertigo), Baltics (Scanorama) and Indonesia (PT Falcon).

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