Kino Lorber has bought U.S. rights to Jean-Paul Salomé’s true life thriller “The Sitting Duck,” starring Isabelle Huppert as the French union organizer and whistleblower Maureen Kearney.
Represented in international markets by The Bureau Sales, “The Sitting Duck” world premiered at Venice where it won the Premio Fondazione FAI Persona Lavoro Ambiente Prize. The film will open theatrically in France in March, and Kino Lorber is planning a U.S. theatrical release later this year, followed by a digital and home video release on all major platforms.
“The Sitting Duck” has now been sold around the world. The Bureau Sales has closed deals for Canada (Axia Films Inc.), UK (Modern Films), Germany/Austria (Weltkino Filmverleih Gmbh), Italy (I Wonder Pictures), France (Le Pacte), Spain (Wanda Vision S.A.), Benelux (September Film), Switzerland (Filmcoopi Zurich AG), Greece (Cinobo), Portugal (Nos Lusomundo Audiovisuais, S.A.), Bulgaria (Beta Film Ltd.), Hungary (ADS Service Ltd.), Romania (Transilvania Film), Israel (Forum Film Ltd.), French Speaking Africa (Ciné 7ème art), Latin America (Cineplex), Japan (Only Hearts Co. Ltd.), Taiwan (Joint Entertainment International Inc.) and Airlines (Horizon Distribution).
Penned by Salomé and Fadette Drouard, based on investigative journalist Caroline Michel-Aguirre’s book “La Syndicaliste,””The Sitting Duck” follows the true story of Maureen Kearney (Huppert), the influential head union representative of a French multinational nuclear powerhouse.
A deft navigator of elite political and financial circles, Maureen becomes a whistleblower when she discovers international backroom dealings, exposing secrets that shook the French nuclear sector. Fighting against government ministers and industry leaders, Maureen worked tirelessly to bring the scandal to light and defend thousands of jobs until she was violently sexually assaulted in her own home, seemingly targeted for her attempts to reveal the truth. As her attack is investigated, new elements create doubt in the minds of detectives and lawyers, and they begin to see Maureen not as a victim, but as a suspect. Surrounded by powerful enemies and unable to trust anyone, Maureen must fight to clear her name.
“Led by an incredible performance from the great Isabelle Huppert, “The Sitting Duck” is the riveting true story of a nuclear whistleblower and her struggles to be heard – and believed – by a multinational nuclear powerhouse, law enforcement, and the court of public opinion after she is attacked for speaking out,” said Kino Lorber VP George Schmalz. “We’re thrilled to bring this tense and compelling thriller to US audiences,” the executive continued.
Produced by Bertrand Faivre, “The Sitting Duck” marks the second collaboration between Huppert and Salomé following the 2020 film “Mama Weed.”
“I am very honored and very proud that my new film ‘The Sitting Duck’ will be distributed in the US by Kino Lorber,” said Salomé. “Kino Lorber defends quality cinema for a demanding public, with real choices and a real editorial line – it’s like being part of a carefully curated collection,” added the filmmaker, who previously presided over the French film promotion org Unifrance.
The movie also stars Gregory Gadebois, Francois-Xavier Demaison, Pierre Deladonchamps, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Gilles Cohen. The deal for “The Sitting Duck” was negotiated by George Schmalz, VP of theatrical distribution and new business development for Kino Lorber, and Clémentine Hugot, head of sales at The Bureau Sales.