Country Focus: Luxembourg
Deal to produce several international-driven projects
by Vitor Pinto
- Salary equality and the promotion of the female presence in the film industry has been a hot topic over the last few months. In Luxembourg, a traditionally male-dominated audiovisual landscape is coexisting with a production company run by two entrepreneurial women: producer Alexandra Hoesdorff and producer/actress/director Désirée Nosbusch. The two met in Los Angeles, where they lived and worked for several years, and one day they decided it was time to return home and start a company. That is how Deal Productions was born – and it was soon to become a success story in the small but internationally orientated Luxembourgish market.
The newly arrived Deal was behind the production of Luxembourg’s first TV sitcom named Weemseesdet, and its credits in cinema include Nosbusch’s highly praised documentary Succès Fox, which turned out to be the second most successful domestic film of 2014. “It was a Luxembourgish story, but it certainly had an international appeal. We presented it at Germany’s Max Ophuls Film Festival, and we got very positive feedback from the audience,” states Hoesdorff.
Deal’s team is now working on several new projects, among them Nosbusch’s new film, Poison, an adaptation of a play by Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans. “It’s about a former couple who meet again nine years after the death of their son. Nosbusch had played the lead in the theatre, but this time she is only directing, and we will be looking for an actress to play the mother.” Poison will be shot in English.
Deal’s slate also includes three films by John Huddles: Appetite, a comedy that sees a carnivore father facing off with his vegan daughter, which is to be shot in early 2016, and two other projects: The Instigators and The Year of the Hat, which will enter production in 2017.
Bavo Defurne’s Souvenir [+see also:
film profile] – another of Hoesdorff’s projects – is in a more advanced state of production. Co-produced with Belgium’s Indeed Films, Souvenir is a “comeback story” about a former Eurovision Song Contest singer who ended up working in a pâté factory. A French female star is about to sign up to play the lead along with César Award-winning actor Kevin Azais (Love at First Fight [+see also:
interview: Thomas Cailley
film profile]). Pink Martini will compose the music for the film, which is scheduled to be shot in the autumn.
Finally, the company’s most imminent project is Olivier Afonso’s Girls With Balls, which has just received support from the Luxembourg Film Fund. Co-produced with France’s C4 Productions and Belgium’s Entre Chien et Loup, the film is a horror-comedy that focuses on a female volleyball team that gets lost in an area teeming with hunters, who then begin to chase them. French actress Vanessa Guide plays one of the female leads, while the male leads will include Jean-Claude van Damme as the team trainer and Danny Trejo as the lead hunter. French group Shaka Ponk is composing the score, and Kinology is handling international sales. Principal photography is expected to start in August.