Kino Lorber announced that it has acquired from The Bureau Sales all US distribution rights to Jean-Paul Salomé’s gripping true life thriller The Sitting Duck, starring Isabelle Huppert as the French union organizer and whistleblower Maureen Kearney. The Sitting Duck will open theatrically in France in March, and Kino Lorber is planning a US theatrical release later this year followed by a digital and home video release on all major platforms.
Based on investigative journalist Caroline Michel-Aguirre’s book La Syndicaliste from a screenplay by Jean-Paul Salomé and Fadette Drouard, The Sitting Duck premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival, where it received the Premio Fondazione FAI Persona Lavoro Ambiente Prize. Co-starring Gregory Gadebois, Francois-Xavier Demaison, Pierre Deladonchamps, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Gilles Cohen alongside Huppert, the film marks the second collaboration between Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Paul Salomé following the 2020 film Mama Weed. The Sitting Duck is produced by Bertrand Faivre.
An investigative thriller set in the world of nuclear power and politics, The Sitting Duck follows the true story of Maureen Kearney (Isabelle Huppert), the influential head union representative of a French multinational nuclear powerhouse. A deft navigator of elite political and financial circles, Maureen becomes a whistleblower when she discovers international backroom dealings, exposing secrets that shook the French nuclear sector. Fighting against government ministers and industry leaders, Maureen worked tirelessly to bring the scandal to light and defend thousands of jobs until she was violently sexually assaulted in her own home, seemingly targeted for her attempts to reveal the truth. As her attack is investigated, new elements create doubt in the minds of detectives and lawyers, and they begin to see Maureen not as a victim, but as a suspect. Surrounded by powerful enemies and unable to trust anyone, Maureen must fight to clear her name.
The deal for The Sitting Duck was negotiated by George Schmalz, Vice President of Theatrical Distribution and New Business Development for Kino Lorber, and Clémentine Hugot, head of sales at The Bureau Sales. The film has also sold in numerous territories worldwide including Canada, United Kingdom, Germany/Austria, Italy, France, Spain, Benelux, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Israel, French-speaking Africa, Latin America, Japan, Taiwan, and airlines.
“Led by an incredible performance from the great Isabelle Huppert, The Sitting Duck is the riveting true story of a nuclear whistleblower and her struggles to be heard – and believed – by a multinational nuclear powerhouse, law enforcement, and the court of public opinion after she is attacked for speaking out,” said Kino Lorber VP George Schmalz. “We're thrilled to bring this tense and compelling thriller to US audiences.”
“I am very honored and very proud that my new film The Sitting Duck will be distributed in the US by Kino Lorber,” added director Jean-Paul Salomé. “Kino Lorber defends quality cinema for a demanding public, with real choices and a real editorial line – it's like being part of a carefully curated collection. In an increasingly difficult environment, following its selection at the Venice Film Festival, I am so grateful that my film has been accepted within this family of cinephiles.”