Cannes: Bille August Feature in Brilliant Pictures’ Inaugural Sales Slate

A feature directed by Bille August — the Oscar, Golden Globe and twice Palme d’Or winning Danish director behind Pelle the Conquerer and The Best Intentions — is topping the first Cannes sales slate for newly-launched outfit Brilliant Pictures.

A joint venture of industry veterans Sean O’Kelly and Marc Bikindou, the company — with offices in London and Rome — encompasses production, finance, worldwide sales and distribution for film and TV, and will launch its inaugural sales slate at the Cannes Film Festival next month. The aim, it says, is to bring up five titles to market each year.

Headlining its slate, Brilliant will be handling worldwide sales for several new market titles, including post-WWII drama based on the bestselling novel by Erri De Luca, Me, You (Tu, Mio) to be directed by August, and action-thriller Dark Shark, to be directed by Marcus Adams (Octane, The Marksman). The slate also includes true crime thriller Sinsinawa based on the true accounts of a retired NYPD detective surrounding mysterious drownings linked to a prolific serial killer. Set to shoot in New York in 2022, the cast and director for Sinsinawa will soon be announced. All three titles are currently in pre-production, with both O’Kelly and Bikindou serving as producers.

“Never has there been a greater demand for brave, original and high-end content,” said Brilliant chairman O’Kelly, whose credits include Oscar-nominated Margin Call and online phenomenon Iron Sky. “The new post-COVID era landscape is still rapidly evolving and requires an agile, quick-thinking and more collaborative approach. With the launch of Brilliant, Marc and I aim to bring our expertise and network, prioritising talent relationships, to provide a home and model for the world’s best storytellers to create their boldest work.”

Added CEO and international sales head Bikindou, who was instrumental in handling sales for The Black Dahlia, Rambo, 16 Blocks, The Expendables and The Paperboy: “Sean and I have known each other and worked together for a very long time. Brilliant was born from a desire to combine our vast experience in the international film and TV industry to create a model that will empower producers to maximize their creative autonomy whilst delivering commercially viable content that resonates with audiences worldwide. We will also be producing our own films and have some hugely exciting plans for these in the pipeline.”

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