Jour2Fête has high hopes for To the Four Winds at Cannes
by Fabien Lemercier
- The French sales agent is banking on a documentary revolving around Cédric Herrou, a farmer who helps migrants to cross the French-Italian border
Grass-roots documentaries have smiled upon French sales agent Jour2Fête before, as the firm distributed Merci patron ! [+see also:
film profile] in France (where it racked up almost 520,000 admissions and won the César Award in its respective category in 2017). The Paris-based company headed up by Sarah Chazelle and Etienne Ollagnier is now continuing in the same vein, this time with To the Four Winds [+see also:
film profile] by Michel Toesca, which will be world-premiered as an Official Selection special screening at the 71st Cannes Film Festival (8-19 May), and which Jour2Fête will be touting for international distribution at the Film Market.
To the Four Winds is set in the Roya Valley, located between France and Italy, where thousands of migrants try to cross the border each month in search of a better life. Cédric Herrou, a local farmer, has been welcoming migrants into his own home since the beginning of the crisis, turning his back garden into a much-needed shelter. With the help of friends and volunteers, he challenges French immigration policies that make it impossible for these families to set foot on French soil and seek asylum. Filmed over a period of three years by documentary filmmaker Michel Toesca, this everyday hero will do anything to help them, even if it means risking his own freedom. The film, which tells the story of the struggle undertaken by Cédric and countless others, was produced by Jean-Marie Gigon for SaNoSi Productions with backing from Emmaüs France, Médecins du monde, Res Publica, Roya Citoyenne and KissKissBankBank crowdfunders.
At the Film Market, the Jour2Fête international sales team, managed by Samuel Blanc, will screen the animated feature The Tower [+see also:
interview: Mats Grorud
film profile] by Norway’s Mats Grorud as a market premiere; the movie has just been selected out of competition for the upcoming Annecy Film Festival (11-16 June). The film, which blends stop motion and 2D animation and is set in modern-day Beirut, revolves around Wardi, an 11-year-old Palestinian girl who lives with her whole family in the refugee camp where she was born. Her beloved great-grandfather Sidi was one of the first people to settle in the camp after being chased from his home in 1948. The day Sidi gives her the key to his old house back in Galilee, she fears he may have lost hope of someday going home. As she searches for Sidi's lost hope around the camp, she will collect her family's testimonies, from one generation to the next. Production duties on the film were entrusted to Les Contes Modernes for France, together with Norway and Sweden.
At Cannes, Jour2Fête will also be pre-selling three films that are at a very advanced stage of post-production: the musical documentary The Grand Hotel Ballet by Jacques Deschamps (produced by TS Productions), the Thai film Manta Ray by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng (co-produced by Diversion Co together with China’s Heyi Pictures and France’s Les Films de l'Etranger) and the Greek feature debut Her Job by Nikos Labôt, which depicts the misadventures of a 37-year-old housewife forced to get a job for the first time in her life because of the economic recession (a joint production between France, via Sister Productions, Greece, via Homemade Films, and Serbia, via Sense Production).
(Translated from French)
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