‘Lingua Franca’ lands distribution deal with Paris-based distributor | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Lingua Franca’ lands distribution deal with Paris-based distributor

/ 12:15 AM September 08, 2019

Isabel Sandoval

“A crucial milestone.” That was how producer Darlene Malimas described the French distribution deal that “Lingua Franca” signed with Paris-based distributor JHR Films, ahead of its premiere at the ongoing 2019 Venice Days in Italy.

Venice Days (or Giornate degli Autori) is an independent section that runs alongside the Venice Film Festival.


“It was quite a challenge to secure a French sale without hitting major film markets, especially in France, but we were able to land a deal even prior to our world premiere,” said Malimas, who coproduced “Lingua Franca” with Jhett Tolentino, Carlo Velayo and New York-based director Isabel Sandoval. “Many thanks to French distributor JHR Films for believing that this material is all worth it. We’re excited for this partnership!”


“Lingua Franca,” a star-crossed lovers’ tale, also features Sandoval as a Filipino transgender immigrant named Olivia. Desperate to acquire a green card so she can stay in the United States and avoid deportation, she gets involved with a Russian slaughterhouse worker who’s unaware that she is trans.

Aside from its participation at Venice Days, “Lingua Franca” is also one of the 10 films selected for competition at the BFI London Film Festival in October, Malimas told the Inquirer.

In an article posted on ScreenDaily.com, JHR Films founder Jane Roger said she was drawn “to the timely and authentic nature of ‘Lingua Franca.’”

She described it as “a sincere, political and intimate portrait of a Philippine transwoman immigrant looking for love in Trump’s America.”

Paris-based Luxbox is handling the film’s international sales.

Fiorella Moretti and Hédi Zardi, Luxbox cochiefs, said the film would “benefit from the dedication and passion of Roger, who artfully traced a path in the arthouse circuit of French distribution.”—MARINEL R. CRUZ

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TAGS: Lingua Franca, Venice Film Festival

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