The Australian distributor who took a shine to Angèle et Tony did not wait for the end of the closing credits to call Pyramide International to acquire the film rights.
His associate later told me, smiling, that he had "broken the rules" because he had not even consulted him before making the decision. Antonio Zeccola from Palace Films buys films that appeal to him, and to achieve this, certain rules can sometimes be bent.
The evening of the film’s screening in Venice, I was with Alix, the director, in the hotel foyer, where we met Mr. Zeccola, whose enthusiasm for the film was very touching. I mentioned that I’d be delighted to come to Australia. Just a few months later, the film was selected at the 22nd Alliance Française French Film Festival, and before I knew it I was in Sydney, representing the new generation of French cinema!
After a 22-hour flight with a short stopover in Hong Kong, I was welcomed in Sydney by Jean-Jacques Garnier, the festival’s artistic director. I came straight from the Parisian winter to the Australian late summer, with bright sunshine and 25° temperatures. We watched the César Awards live at 6 a.m. and I felt an immediate connection with my new Australian family.
Later on, I met up with Mr. and Mrs. Zeccola and their children, all of whom work for the family business. They are a film family, a veritable dynasty, who showed such generosity and love… A love of cinema, of life, and, of course, Italian wine!
I gave many interviews, took part in Q&As, photo sessions, and presentations of the film.
I was very pleased to see that Australian audiences enjoyed Angèle and Tony, that the film’s story is universal and can cross borders.
What I found most moving during this trip, however, was meeting with people who love life as much as they love cinema. That is something that requires a lot of talent.
Many thanks and congratulations to Jean-Jacques, Michèle Garnier, and their children, to the Zeccola family, and the staff at Palace Films.
They are wonderful people, and I would like to think that you all could meet them one day. Just one thing: remember to prepare yourself for the 22-hour flight!