Monsters. shines bright on Alpha Violet’s line-up
by Fabien Lemercier
- The French firm will be at Berlin selling the feature debut by Romania’s Marius Olteanu, which will be premiered in the Forum, as well as the Israeli-German co-production Chained, in Panorama
Paris-based international sales agent Alpha Violet, a company that has enjoyed a regular presence on the line-up of the selections at the major festivals for the last few years, will be springing into action once again at the European Film Market of the 69th Berlin Film Festival (7-17 February 2019), with two brilliant trump cards set to be showcased there.
Indeed, the slate being promoted by Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato’s team includes Monsters. [+see also:
film profile] by Romanian director Marius Olteanu, which will be world-premiered in the Forum. It is the feature debut by a filmmaker who served as assistant director on Cristi Puiu’s Sieranevada [+see also:
Q&A: Cristi Puiu
film profile], but who is also a renowned photographer. "For us, this film was totally a case of love at first sight and a real shock, particularly visually, because he plays with the screen format: the ratio is widened and shrunk in accordance with the intensity of the narrative, which recounts the story of a couple who completely reassess their values over the course of 24 hours," Virginie Devesa explains.
The story of Monsters., written by the director, revolves around Dana (Judith State) and Arthur (Cristian Popa), a wife and husband in their forties, who have been together for almost ten years. They are a couple that society, their family and their friends seem to love together, but despise separately because of their needs, their beliefs, their life options and their inner monsters. The day comes for them to decide whether letting go is the biggest proof of love. Production duties were handled by Parada Film (Claudiu Mitcu and Carla Fotea) and Marius Olteanu himself, while Wearebasca (Robert Fita and Iochim Stroe) is credited as a co-producer.
At Berlin, Alpha Violet will also be pinning its hopes on Chained [+see also:
film profile] by Yaron Shani, which will be presented in Panorama. The second instalment in the “love trilogy” helmed by the filmmaker, which kicked off with Stripped [+see also:
interview: Yaron Shani
film profile] (first revealed at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, in the Orizzonti section), this new opus by the director, who was singled out with a Special Mention for the Cannes Caméra d’Or in 2009 and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film in 2010 with Ajami [+see also:
film profile], was produced by Israeli outfit Black Sheep Film Productions and co-produced by Michael Reuter for German firm The Post Republic, with backing from YES, the Israel Film Fund, ZDF/Das Kleine Fernesehspiel and Arte. The second chapter in the trilogy revolves around a character caught between his job and his personal life. Rashi has been a police officer for 16 years, a guardian of others and the law, always in control. Despite his constant exposure to violence, he dearly hopes to have a child with his wife, Avigail. Then Rashi’s world is shaken. He is accused of sexual assault and suspended from the force owing to his conduct during a standard police check on some privileged boys. While defending his innocence at work, he finds himself clashing at home with his Lolita-like step-daughter, who is as assertive and stubborn as he is, defying his authority. His wife gradually becomes distant. Helpless and chained by his need to dominate, he becomes a danger to himself and his loved ones.
At the EFM, Alpha Violet will also be unveiling the very first images of two films in post-production: Uncle by Denmark’s Frelle Petersen and Motherland by US filmmaker of Lithuanian descent Tomas Vengris.
Also of note are the market premieres set to take place for Irina [+see also:
film profile] by Bulgaria’s Nadejda Koseva (Special Jury Prize at Warsaw and Best Actress Award at Cottbus) and Hanalei Bay by Japan’s Daishi Matsunaga, while the company will continue touting the Mexican-US co-production The Chambermaid by Lila Avilés (unveiled at Toronto, on the Discovery programme, and subsequently taking part in the New Directors section of San Sebastián, among other gatherings, and awarded at Marrakesh, Morelia and Palm Springs).
(Translated from French)
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