Dubai-based sales agent Cercamon is launching a dedicated documentary feature label and will unveil its first slate of titles at this year’s European Film Market, including Constantin Wulff’s Berlinale Forum selection “For the Many – The Vienna Chamber of Labor.”
The company plans to handle 8 to 10 documentaries per year across all markets, with former Doc & Film International and Mediawan Rights exec Suzanne Nodale tapped to oversee all acquisitions and sales of the slate.
A specialist in documentary sales, Nodale has worked on titles such as Gianfranco Rosi’s Oscar-nominated “Fire at Sea,” Gregory Monro’s International Emmy Award winner “Kubrick by Kubrick” and “Banksy Most Wanted,” a Tribeca Film Festival selection from directors Aurelia Rouvier and Seamus Haley.
“I am thrilled to have Suzanne joining the team to expand the reach of Cercamon,” said the company’s CEO, Sebastien Chesneau. “I have known her since she first stepped into the industry and followed her career. Her experience combined with Cercamon’s existing assets allow us to diversify our activity while remaining true to our dedication to bringing new voices and compelling stories forward.”
Cercamon also revealed its slate for the upcoming EFM in February, including “For the Many – The Vienna Chamber of Labor” (pictured), which will have its world premiere in the Berlinale’s Forum strand.
Directed by Constantin Wulff and produced by Navigator Film, the film is set inside Austria’s Chambers of Labor (also known as AK), the country’s official legal representative for employees and the daily point of contact for people who are fighting for their rights within the workplace. Unspooling amid preparations for the institution’s centennial anniversary, “For the Many” offers a portrait of a place caught between a rich past and an uncertain future due to a rapidly changing economy.
“We knew through Austrian colleagues that Cercamon has done a very good job on upcoming independent arthouse features, and Suzanne has an impressive background in documentary sales,” said Wulff and Navigator Film CEO and producer Johannes Rosenberger. “During the intensive preparations for the Berlinale, we very much appreciated their input in order to position and market this purist, direct cinema-style work.”
“I had the chance to work on Frederick Wiseman’s films — the master of direct cinema — in the past and therefore really responded to the aesthetic of Constantin’s film,” added Nodale. “By immersing the viewer within the AK, we discover an institution absolutely unique in the world, a place for any worker to ask for their rights. At a time of economic uncertainty and the shift facing the workplace and labor rights worldwide, the film allows us to question what can be done to face these challenges without losing sight of the most important part of any job: the people performing it.”
Other titles on Cercamon’s EFM slate include IDFA Frontlight premiere “The Case,” by Nina Guseva. Produced by Stereotactic and lensed in Russia, the film follows human rights lawyer Maria Eismont as she works on the defense of Konstantin Kotov, an activist condemned to four years in jail and declared at the time a political prisoner by Amnesty International. Cercamon is preparing a TV cut of the film and is working toward further festival exposure.
Also on the slate is France-Burkina Faso co-production “If You Are a Man” by Simon Panay, which is currently in post-production. The film follows Opio, a 13-year-old boy who works in a gold mine in Burkina Faso in order to pay his school tuition. The French-born Panay has been living in West Africa for several years and has already directed several documentary shorts related to the mining industry, including “Nobody Dies Here.” Shot in an illegal mine in Benin, the film has screened in 71 countries and won 133 festival awards.