Manuel de la Roche • Producer
Darshan, a human adventure
by Fabien Lemercier
Darshan, a documentary produced by Manuel de La Roche and directed by the French Jan Kounen (Doberman, Blueberry) will be presented in Official Selection out of Competition tonight. The producer brings up again the editing of the film which was sold internationally by Roissy Films.
A fascinating journey through India on the track of Amma, a great spiritual figure who in 2002 was awarded the famous International Gandhi peace and non-violence prize and who already gave his famous embrace to more than 20 million of people.
How did you get to produce Darshan and how did you convince Jan Kounen to direct it?
Everything began when I met Jan Kounen in 2001, and we immediately wanted to work together. We chose the topic of the documentary when I happen to meet Saint Amma, who was passing through Paris. I convinced her to be the main character of a documentary devoted to her struggle against poverty. By mere chance, Jan Kounen also came to meet Amma and we then started the adventure together.
How did the financial arrangements for the project went on ??
We were actually penniless at the beginning and Vincent Cassel financially enabled us to start the project. Then a promo-real attracted new partners such as Arte France Cinéma, the Japanese from Artist Film, the Germans from Pegasos Film, the French International sales company Roissy Films, Studio Canal and Océan Films for the distribution in France. The budget eventually amounted to about 1 million euros.
What are you planning for the future?
Three feature films are in development, one is a road-movie with a budget amounting to 4-5 million euros which will be the first full-length movie by Sabine Chaloupy and which will depict the journey of young Swiss lady who goes to Jamaica and looks for the ashes of a reggae idol. I also have a new project with Jan Kounen (who will direct it after 99 francs), a film which will be shot in Tibet with a budget of about 10 million euros. All these projects form part of an editorial line which defends values such as love, sympathy, and peace.
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