French sales company Wide House has signed Alexandre Mourot’s Let the Child Be the Guide, exploring the contemporary relevance of the century-old, child-centred Montessori teaching method, in a deal done on the eve of IDFA.
Mourot filmed a group of young children attending the oldest school in France, which uses the holistic educational method first pioneered by Maria Montessori in Italy in the early 20th century. Taking the observational, cooperative approach favoured by the Montessori method, Mourot allowed his young subjects to lead the direction of the film.
“There are some 20,000 Montessori schools worldwide, and we think it’s a title that will appeal to distributors all over the world,” says Wide House head of sales Elise Cochin. “We liked the way the director got the children involved and we think that, in the current individualistic age, the film has an important message about cooperation,” she adds, stating that the film will also appeal to parents and educators questioning mainstream education, where a child’s progress is only judged on the basis of exam results.
The Paris-based documentary specialist is also at IDFA with Brecht Vanhoenacker’s festival title Imposed Piece, following the young finalists in the violin category of the prestigious Belgian Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2015, screening in IDFA’s Music Competition. The title has recently sold to Taiwan and Korea.
Wide House is also selling Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosolowski’s Best of Fests title The Prince and the Dybbuk, exploring the life of Hollywood producer and exiled Polish Prince, Michael Waszynski.
The company will also be commencing pre-sales on Forum projects Swedish Sin, delving into the country’s global image as a hotbed of sexual liberalism, and The Men’s Choir, about the members of a top male choir in Norway who pull together when their conductor Ivan is diagnosed with terminal cancer.