All the Gods in the Sky joins a celebration of fantasy in Paris
by Fabien Lemercier
- Eighteen features have made the programme for the 8th Paris International Fantastic Film Festival, with one world premiere, one European premiere and nine films making their debut in France
Following the publication of CNC‘s study on genre films in the cinema at the end of November (read more here), and in anticipation of the forthcoming announcement of the three projects selected for its new grant (of up to €500,000) specially targeted at this segment of the industry (the first call for entries, focused on fantasy, horror and science-fiction films, attracted more than 100 applicants), fantasy filmmakers have decamped to the Max Linder Panorama in the heart of Paris, for the 8th edition of the Paris International Fantastic Film Festival (PIFFF), running from 4 to 9 December.
On the bill are eight feature films in the official competition (including one world premiere and three French premieres) and ten films being presented out of competition (one European and six French premieres). One film in particular stands out among those vying for the Grand Prix: All the Gods in the Sky [+see also:
film profile], from French filmmaker Quarxx, which has already made a splash in the Cult section at the BFI London Film Festival and in Sitges. A full-feature remake of the medium-length A Perfect Blue Sky, which won a slew of awards on the international festival circuit, Quarxx’s latest film is based on a screenplay written by the director himself and features Jean-Luc Couchard, Mélanie Gaydos, Zelie Rixhon and Thierry Frémont. So, what’s the premise? Simon lives on a remote farm with his sister Estelle, bed-ridden and in a vegetative state ever since a childhood accident decimated her motor functions. After losing his job, he severs his last remaining ties with society and withdraws into his own paranoid obsessions, engrossed in a fanatical quest for contact with another world... Produced by To Be Continued and Tobina Film, international sales for All the Gods in the Sky are being managed by Films Boutique.
Another film in the competition that merits a special mention is Achoura by Talal Selhami, which follows the misadventures of four kids who like to play in an abandoned house, said to be cursed, until one of them disappears in mysterious circumstances — only to resurface 25 years later... A co-production between Morocco and France, international sales are in the hands of Orange Studio.
Another stand-out title is French–Belgian co-production Girls With Balls, directed by Olivier Afonso — a slasher comedy about a women’s volleyball team that falls prey to a group of modern-day Count Zaroff wannabees... At least until the balance of power is overturned. Kinology is handling sales.
Also selected for the competition are Swedish feature film The Unthinkable [+see also:
film profile], by Victor Danell (to be distributed in France next April by Wild Side); British film Await Further Instructions [+see also:
film profile], by Johnny Kevorkian; Piercing, by Nicolas Pesce, and Freaks, from duo Zach Lipovsky and Adam B Stein (both US productions); and Terrified, by Demián Rugna (Argentina).
Screening outside of the official competition, among others, are In Fabric [+see also:
interview: Peter Strickland
film profile] by British director Peter Strickland, Lords of Chaos [+see also:
interview: Jonas Åkerlund
film profile] a UK—Sweden co-production by from Jonas Åkerlund and We [+see also:
film profile] by Rene Eller, a co-production between the Netherlands and Belgium. Rounding out the festival’s programme are five cult screenings and one ‘forbidden’ screening.
(Translated from French)
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