The investment through the Red Sea Film Foundation will see RedSeaIFF serve as an executive producer on the feature, which was shot in France.
The director’s sixth feature film is set to be screened on May 16 at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, after the opening ceremony’s live broadcasting on France Télévisions and Brut. Jeanne du Barry will be released the same day in French theatres.
Red Sea International Film Festival provided post-production support for the period drama, marking the first time the foundation co-produced a French movie. The financial terms of the investment have not been disclosed.
The film stars Johnny Depp as 18th century French King Louis XV, with Maïwenn playing the role of the titular courtesan, Madame du Barry.
Jeanne du Barry also stars Pierre Richard, Benjamin Lavernhe, Noémie Lvovsky, Melvil Poupaud, India Hair and Pascal Greggory.
The film has been acquired by Netflix for France after local theatrical release by Le Pacte, and is produced by Why Not Production Company’s Pascal Caucheteux and Grégoire Sorlat, Johnny Depp’s production company IN.2, La Petite Reine and France Télévisions, with the RedSeaIFF serving as executive producers, and Wild Bunch International serving as sales’ agent.
Shot in France, Jeanne du Barry is Maïwenn’s sixth feature which she also co-wrote with Teddy Lussi-Modeste and Nicolas Livecchi
The film follows Jeanne Vaubernier, a young working-class woman hungry for culture and pleasure, who uses her intelligence and allure to climb the rungs of the social ladder one by one. She becomes the favourite of King Louis XV who, unaware of her status as a courtesan, regains through her his appetite for life. They fall madly in love. Against all propriety and etiquette, Jeanne moves to Versailles, where her arrival scandalizes the court.
At the 2011 Festival de Cannes, the director won the Prix du Jury (Jury Prize) for her film Polisse, in her first selection in the Competition. Four years later, she was back in Official Selection with Mon Roi (My King), for which Emmanuelle Bercot won the 2015 Best Actress Award.
Mohammed Al Turki, CEO of the Red Sea IFF said: “Maïwenn is a filmmaker of extraordinary calibre, and Jeanne du Barry is the perfect example of incredibly rich storytelling featuring a stellar cast. We are honoured to be involved in supporting this film and excited to see it world premiere to global audiences at the Cannes Film Festival next month.”