Gaumont Backs French Drama ‘Step by Step’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Elsa Keslassy
Variety

Gaumont is reteaming with French producer Mandarin Cinema (“Monsieur Chocolat”) on “Step by Step” (“Patients), which will mark the directorial debut of popular French slam poet Fabien Marsaud, aka Grand Corps Malade.

“Step by Step,” an uplifting, contemporary dramedy based on Marsaud’s own autobiographical novel “Patients,” turns on an athletic college student who becomes quadriplegic following an accident.

Mandarin Cinema, headed by Eric and Nicholas Altmayer, is producing the film with Gaumont. One of France’s leading production companies, Mandarin Cinema’s recent credits include Anne Fontaine’s “Les Innocentes” and Francois Ozon’s “Franz.”

Co-directed by Marsaud and another first-timer, Mehdi Idir, “Step by Step” is “a tale of rebirth and friendship,” said Gaumont’s head of international co-production and distribution, Cecile Gaget.

Gaumont is showing a promo reel screening at AFM and has pre-sold the film to Neue Vision in Germany and Impuls in Switzerland. Neue Vision has a strong track record with French comedies, having previously handled “Paulette” and “Serial (Bad) Weddings.”

Gaumont will release the movie in France on March 1.

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