Météore Films dives in at the deep end with Suite armoricaine
by Fabien Lemercier
- This is the first release for the distribution company founded by Mathieu Berthon, which also has the Berlin Golden Bear winner Fire at Sea on its line-up
Last year, Mathieu Berthon - a former employee of Les Films du Losange, where he worked from 2004 to 2013 - founded the company Météore Films, which is today bringing out its first movie in French theatres: Suite armoricaine [+see also:
film profile]. Revealed in competition at Locarno, where it snagged the Fipresci Prize, and also selected at Rotterdam, the second feature by the talented and original Pascale Breton is being released this Wednesday in 35 cinemas after it was pre-released last week in the Brittany region. “To my mind, she’s a great director who is still relatively unknown, but who manages to overcome economic difficulties in terms of production, successfully directing films with an immense amount of artistic ambition,” stresses Berthon.
Météore Films will distribute two other films this year: 28 September will see the release of Fire at Sea [+see also:
interview: Gianfranco Rosi
film profile] by Italy’s Gianfranco Rosi, recently crowned with the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, and Between Fences [+see also:
film profile] by Avi Mograbi will hit screens on 30 November, another title unveiled at the Berlinale, in the Forum section, and which will open the upcoming Cinéma du Réel Festival (unspooling in Paris from 18-27 March). And while these two films just happen to be documentaries, this does not constitute a specific editorial policy for Météore Films. “It doesn’t really matter about the form, or whether it’s fiction or documentary,” explains Berthon. “What counts, in my opinion, is artistic consistency, the aesthetic approach and a sense of commitment. What fires me up is the taste of the auteurs, and the will to accompany them, as well as the producers, which is what I learned to do at Les Films du Losange. Distribution is an exciting and difficult profession; it’s a human, shared adventure that is there to serve a work.”
On the topic of the highly competitive independent French distribution landscape, which is under considerable economic pressure, the head of Météore Films is fairly optimistic in his opinions. “I’m not naïve, and my enthusiasm doesn’t stop me from being realistic, but in France, we still tend to see the glass as half empty, rather than half full. And when you talk about competition, that’s where I see diversity. I am a film buff and I think that the more good films you watch, the more good films you want to watch. Admittedly, there are a lot of movies that are coming out, but in France we’re very lucky to have a funding system that allows us to produce auteurs from all around the globe. And then there’s a kind of collective responsibility to support them in theatres, and a good number of exhibitors share this point of view. Simply put, films are different from one another, and so you have to work with them differently. Not everyone has the same economic resources in order to get by, but perhaps the answer is to have an exhibition time frame that’s a bit different – for example, keeping a movie on the cinema listings for a greater number of weeks, with a few screenings per day.”
(Translated from French)
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