Oscar-Nominated Palestinian Filmmaker Scandar Copti’s Israel-Set ‘Happy Holidays’ Lands on Indie Sales’ Roster (EXCLUSIVE)

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Paris-based company Indie Sales has acquired “Happy Holidays,” the sophomore feature of Oscar-nominated Palestinian filmmaker Scandar Copti.

Copti’s feature debut, “Ajami,” co-directed by Yaron Shani, won the Camera d’Or Special Mention at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and was nominated for an Oscar in the international feature category.

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“Happy Holidays” takes place in contemporary Israel, where a minor accident in Jerusalem triggers a chain of events. “Lies and unspoken truths will sow division among a multi-faceted patriarchal society,” reads the synopsis.

Nicolas Eschbach, Indie Sales’ CEO and co-founder, described “Happy Holidays” as a “highly-expected second feature from Palestinian director Scandar Copti after his Cannes-selected critically-acclaimed debut.”

Currently in post-production, the film is expected to be delivered in the spring. “Happy Holidays” is produced by Red Balloon Film in Germany, together with Tessalit Productions in France, Intramovies in Italy and Fresco Films in Palestine.

Indie Sales will introduce the film to buyers at the European Film Market, which runs alongside the Berlin Film Festival and kicks off Feb. 15.

The company’s recent acquisitions include Nathalie Najem’s “No Way Back,” a timely feature debut tackling domestic violence with a cast led by Bastien Bouillon (“The Night of the 12th”) and Zita Hanrot (“Angry Annie”).

“No Way Back” tells the story of Laura, who is rebuilding her life after years under the toxic influence of Joachim and is raising their daughter on her own. When Joachim’s new girlfriend, Shirine, shows up at her door in dire straits, Laura realizes that they must help each other to get rid of Joachim’s harmful influence. The film appears to be in a similar vein as Xavier Legrand’s Venice prizewinner “Custody,” with an emphasis on sisterhood.

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