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REPORT: Cinemed Meetings 2016

by Fabien Lemercier

A look at the applicants for the 26th edition of the Development Aid Grant of the Mediterranean Film Festival of Montpellier

REPORT: Cinemed Meetings 2016
(© Cinemed)

Tuesday marked the start of the Cinemed Meetings, three days for industry professionals, as part of the 38th Mediterranean Film Festival of Montpellier. The programme features round tables, meetings, the second edition of the ‘From short to feature’ section of 12 projects (which will be judged by a jury most notably including Georges Goldenstern and Yasmina Nini Faucon), and the 26th edition of the Development Aid Grant, which has supported 76 feature film projects since 1991 and was won by En attendant les hirondelles by Karim Moussaoui in 2015 (a French-Algerian co-production being produced by David Thion for Les Films Pelléas, filming on which is actually set to start today). This year, 15 fictional feature projects have been chosen, and will be presented by their directors and producers to a jury of five professionals: Jacques Bidou (JBA Production), Leyla Bouzid (director), Monique Carcaud-Macaire (film researcher), Antoine Khalife (Director of the Arab Programme of the Dubai Film Festival), and Dominique Welinski (DW Production). Three development aid grants will be awarded by the CNC (€8,000), the Occitanie region (€4,000), and the Beaumarchais Association (€3,000). These grants will include both technical support from Titra Film (an allowance of €5,500), and writing residencies at the Moulin d’Andé-Céci and the Mediterranean Film Institute.

The projects in the running for a Development Aid Grant:

Amazigh Anita by Lewton-Moukkes (Algeria/France)
Production: Baptiste Ménage
When Nouredine, a bright Algerian Berber student arrives in Montpellier, he’s happy to find his brother Ali living there, a undocumented part-time DJ. But the south of France is on terrorist alert, and Nouredine is a suspect. And so the brothers are forced to return to their peaceful village in Babylie, but Nouredine’s pride is hurt, and the violence he experienced in France has changed him forever.

Le boulevard Babel by Gheorge Preda (Romania)
Production: Marghidan Liviu for Scharf Advertising
Three main narrative threads and several secondary ones weave together in parallel and interlock in a Romania that seems completely out of control. Disaster reigns in a country that has become a Babel dominated by ferocious humour and a sense of the absurd worthy of Eugène Ionesco’s plays.

Fronteira by Nuno Baltazar (Portugal)
Production: Leonel Vieira for Stopline Films
Tino, an African from Cape Verde, travels to Portugal to flee poverty and support his family. Adriano, an impatient businessman, finds him work on a construction site with lots of other illegal workers. One day there’s an accident, and one of the workers dies on the site. Construction has to be halted, and Adriano forces Tino to watch over the site. All alone, he starts living in the building.

Giannis dans des villes by Eleni Alexandrakis (Greece/Macedonia/Poland/Bulgaria)
Production: Eleni Alexandrakis
At the end of the Greek civil war, Giannis, who has lost his mother and whose father is a member of the Resistance, goes to live in the Child Cities set up by Queen Frederica, where he spends five years of his life between the ages of 8 and 13. There he loses his identity. Propaganda on the Cold War makes him believe that his father isn’t a rebel, but a soldier in the national army. At the age of 35, he finally finds his father, a political refugee living in Bulgaria.

L'homme qui acheta la lune by Paolo Zucca (Italy/France)
Production: Amedeo Pagani for La Luna
Someone, in Sardinia, has taken possession of the Moon. A secret agent is sent to investigate the case. A surly emigrant is appointed to train him. A Sardinian fisherman has made a big promise to a woman. And the Sardinians - as is well-known - keep their promises.

Marta by Jean Anouilh (France)
Production: Marie Sonne Jensen and Nathalie Algazi for La Voie lactée
Marta lives as a recluse in the hills on the Spanish border. It’s been months since she last saw Daniel, her only son. When a fire breaks out inland, Marta suspects her brother Toni of being caught up in Daniel’s disappearance. The flames spread quickly and Marta understands that the moment has come to take action and take back control of her life.

Mieux qu'un lièvre by Brahim Fritah (France)
Production: Philippe Delarue for Futurikon
Philippe is a scout for the French Athletics Federation. He roams the suburbs and the most far-flung corners of the French countryside in search of the long-distance runners of tomorrow. After each run, he draws up reports, which he sends to his superiors. One morning, a godsend presents itself to him, on the 10th floor of the council block he lives in, in the form of 17-year-old Yanis, his neighbour from across the hall...

La mort des chevaux noirs by Ferit Karahan (Turkey)
Production: Gülistan Acet for FK FILM
In the Kurdish territory of the Ottoman Empire (1914), just before the Great War and the deportation of Armenian intellectuals, Yusuf and his brothers travel to another town in search of their older brother, who’s in prison. It’s an ambitious journey into a world that is long gone, which raises some very contemporary human and religious questions.

Peau de vache by Tamer Ruggli (Switzerland/France/Belgium)
Production: Francine Lusser and 
Gérard Monier for Tipi’mages
Sue, a TV presenter, is bowled over when her late mother, an Egyptian aristocrat, appears to her in the flesh to ask her to carry out her final wishes. Forced to return to Egypt, Sue is brought face to face with a past that she thought she’d turned her back on forever.

Quel drôle de pays! by Vinko Bresan (Croatia/Slovenia/Germany/France)
Production: Ivan Maloca for Interfilm
Three stories, the stucture and links between which are gradually revealed to us. The main characters are a suicidal general, a Croatian government minister and a group of parents of different nationalities who, by digging up the coffins of the late Croatian and Serbian presidents, aim to force the governments in each country to finally find their children, who went missing during the war.

Les Quinze by Michel Zarazir (Lebanon)
Production: Gabriel Zarazir
During the Second World War, Europe is busy dealing with Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin. Lebanon, on the other hand, is busy dealing with Matile and his 11 children.

Les reptiles by Romain Laguna (France)
Production: Charles Philippe and Lucille Ric
 for Les films du clan
It’s summer in the South of France. Among the vineyards on the red lands of Béziers and the sandy and burnt deserts of Sète, enter Alex and Morad. 17-year-old Nina is crossing the land. She’s the only one who’s seen the meteorite, like a premonition…

Sirin by Senad Sahmanovic (Serbia/Montenegro/France)
Production: Jean-Christophe Barret for Alliance de Production Cinématographique
For a driven woman like Nathalie Clement, renouncing your Slavic roots and changing your identity is as easy as swapping a pair of old shoes for some new ones. Just as she realises her dream of becoming a lawyer, her first case draws her back to her home country. They say that the past is a faraway land and that those who return aren’t the same as they were before…

Taymour et Yasmine by Viken Armenian (France/Lebanon/Portugal)
Production: Louise Hentgen for Bobi Lux
Taymour and Yasmine met on a makeshift boat sailing between Turkey and a Greek island. They’re Syrian. They’re young. In their previous lives, he was a rocker and she was a student. In the style of two castaways without ties, they cross the South of France in search of their destinies.

Un été à Boujab by Omar Mouldouira (Morocco/France)
Production: Philippe Avril for Les Films de L'étranger
13-year-old Karim comes home to spend the summer in Boujad in the South of Morocco. There he finds Aïcha, his mother-in-law, Tarek, his half-brother, and his father Messaoud. 
Karim makes friends with other teenagers in the neighbourhood where friendship and rivalry mix with the first flutters of emotion. A famous haunted house, a corpse dug up from a cemetery… they gradually uncover a terrible secret.