A flurry of French announcements in Berlin
- BERLINALE 2020: From the Guillaume Nicloux's project Soumission to the hybrid film A Winter’s Journey, a great many titles have been added to the line-ups of French companies at the EFM
Beyond the main announcements which came last week at the start of the European Film Market of the 70th Berlinale (read the news), professionals from the French film industry have since revealed during the Berlin event a large array of new titles. We take a tour of the new announcements.
Parisian company Incognita Films will produce Soumission by Guillaume Nicloux (To the Ends of the World [+see also:
interview: Guillaume Nicloux
film profile], Valley of Love [+see also:
film profile], The Nun [+see also:
interview: Guillaume Nicloux
film profile], etc.), an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Michel Houellebecq, which should begin filming next September with Jean-Paul Rouve in the leading role.
Mk2 Films has added several titles to its international sales line-up (news): The Love Letter from French director Jérôme Bonnell (in post-production), Petite Solange from Axelle Roppert (soon to begin filming), the Israel-Italy feature film in post-production Here We Are by Nir Bergman, and the hybrid film currently in production A Winter’s Journey by Alex Helfrecht, which will combine real-life footage, digital special effects, (with Mac Guff handling rotoscopy and animation) and hand-painted backgrounds (created by Polish company BreakThru Films). Featuring in the cast of this adaptation of Franz Schubert’s Winterreise — which will bring together in production Oiffy (U.K.), French companies Films d’ici and Cité Films, and Pandora Film (Germany) — are Gaspard Ulliel, John Malkovich, Martina Gedeck, Charles Berling et Gabriella Moran.
Wild Bunch has expanded its gigantic line-up (read the news) with Gilles Bourdos’ Charlotte, adapted from the eponymous novel by David Foenkinos who has co-written the script with the director and Michel Spinosa. The film, which will begin filming at the end of the summer, will centre on Charlotte Salomon, a young and talented German painter exiled in France during World War Two, before she is arrested by the Nazis and deported. Production will be handled by French company Curiosa Films and German company Wild Bunch Germany.
Indie Sales (news line-up) has begun sales on the animated film The Crossing, from French director Florence Miailhe and currently in post-production. It has also made quite a coup with the sale of Dead & Beautiful from Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek (produced by Shudder, one of the streaming platform of AMC Networks) to the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Belgian international sales company Best Friend Forever (news), a branch of Parisian company Indie Sales, has begun pre-sales on two feature debuts: Franco-Belgian co-production Honey Cigar by Kamir Aïnouz (which has almost completed filming and stars Zoé Adjani in the lead role) and Bootlegger from Canadian director Caroline Monnet (in post-production).
The Party Film Sales (the new sales label bringing together the teams of Jour2Fête and Doc & Film International – read the news) has launched sales on several documentaries: Spanish production The Mystery of the Pink Flamingos by Javier Polo Gandia (which will have its world premiere at SXSW in Austin), German production Now by Jim Rakete, centred on young environmental activists, and French productions Willy Ronis, The Reporter and His Battles by Vladimir Vasak and Venezuela, in the Shadows of Chavez by Laurence Debray.
The team of international sales company Orange Studio, now headed by Daniel Marquet (with support from Émilie Serres), has launched pre-sales on several French titles currently in post-production: Antonin Peretjatko’s Old Fashioned (news) and Samuel Benchetrit’s Love Song For Tough Guys (news). The company has also continued its work begun at the AFM on Last Film Show from Indian director Pan Nalin (a film currently in post-production with producers from India, the U.S., Hungary and France).
Young sales company Pulsar Content (headed by Marie Garrett and Gilles Sousa) had a lot of success with the English-language psychological thriller A Perfect Enemy by Spanish director Kike Maíllo, currently filming (an adaptation of the novel The Enemy's Cosmetique from Belgian writer Amélie Nothomb). It has also launched sales on American thriller Wild Indian by Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., currently in post-production (starring Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Greyeyes, Chaske Spencer and Kate Bosworth).
Memento Films International has added to its already strong line-up (news) The Drover’s Wife from Australian director Leah Purcell, who has adapted her own eponymous theatre play for this "revenge movie”, currently in post-production.
Standing out among the upcoming French films with the most success in pre-sales so far at the EFM are François Ozon’s Summer of 85 [+see also:
film profile], bought via Playtime (news line-up) for Spain (Golem), Poland (Against Gravity), Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Belgium (September Film), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), ex-Yugoslav territories (MCF), Turkey, Russia, Israel, Latin America and South Korea.
Also worth noting is the beautiful impact of the promo-reel for Xavier Giannoli’s Lost Illusions, sold by Gaumont, which has also begun pre-sales on the comedy Rumba Therapy by Franck Dubosc (who had seduced many international distributors with his previous film, Rolling to You [+see also:
film profile]), set to begin filming in May.
Finally, Pathé International also gets a piece of the action, in particular with the sales based on promo-reel for Coda by Sian Heder (writer on the show Orange Is the New Black and director of the film Tallulah), the English-language remake of the French film The Bélier Family [+see also:
film profile], but also with the pre-sales on Guillaume Canet’s Asterix & Obelix, The Silk Road (which should begin filming in June) among other titles.
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.