Eight promising European filmmakers at the Angers Workshops
by Fabien Lemercier
- The programme features master classes for eight young filmmakers hailing from Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Sweden
22 August will mark the start of the 12th Angers Workshops, founded and managed by Jeanne Moreau together with the organisers of the Premiers Plans Festival. This year, the residency has selected eight young European filmmakers in order to help them prepare their fiction feature debuts. Until 30 August, the residents will be able to benefit from master classes led by French director Katell Quillévéré, Italian producer Marta Donzelli (of Vivo Film) and her French counterpart Jean des Forêts (of Petit Film), and Hungarian head of acquisitions Gabor Greiner (who works for German international sales agent Films Boutique).
One of the individuals selected for this year’s event is Cristèle Alves Meira (who turned heads in the Cannes Critics’ Week this year with her short film Campo de Víboras) with the project Alma viva (developed at La Fémis and being staged by Gaëlle Mareschi for production house Fluxus Films). The story revolves around a 15-year-old girl who leaves France and heads to her village in Portugal, as she does every summer. But her beloved grandmother soon passes away, and the family refuses to pay for her gravestone...
Meanwhile, Danish director Johan Carlsen has been accepted with the project Death on the Streets (produced by Micah Magee for Makrorama), which follows a man as he travels from the Great Plains to Atlantic City in search of work and independence, following his lapse in faith.
Belgium’s Lukas Dhont (who rose to prominence with his shorts Headlong, L’Infini and Skin of Glass) will reuse the themes he has already explored – namely, dance, transformation and identity – in Under My Skin (produced by Dirk Impens for Menuet), which recounts the misfortunes of 15-year-old Lara, who was born into a boy’s body and has resolved to live her life as a girl. A ballet school then agrees to let her in on a trial period.
Another filmmaker who has secured a place at Angers is Sweden’s Frida Kempf (who won an award at Cannes in 2010 with her short Bathing Micky), with her project Twenty-Two Minutes (produced by Annika Hellström for Cinenic Film). Its lead character is a dedicated social worker who is faced with a dilemma: she must decide whether or not to break the law in order to protect a woman and her child.
Next up, French director Laurie Lasalle (whose medium-length film Les Fleuves m'ont laissée descendre où je voulais was presented in the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2014) is preparing Les monstres calmes (co-written with Lucille Dupré and also selected by the TorinoFilmLab), which centres on a 17-year-old cabinetmaker apprentice who comes back to live in his late mother’s flat and whose skin undergoes strange transformations whenever he feels strong emotions.
Born to a Portuguese mother and a French father, Pierre Primetens (who has directed titles such as the trilogy Un voyage au Portugal, Des vacances à l’Île Maurice and Contre Toi. La Fête des Garçons) has been selected with his project Un été avec Diogo (staged by Nathalie Trafford for Paraiso Production), which tells the story of a romantic encounter between a French teenager and a young fisherman from southern Portugal, whose small community must face up to the realities of the mass tourism industry.
For his part, Greek filmmaker Haris Raftogiannis (whose feature-length documentary Airland is currently in post-production) is working on the fiction project The River (under the auspices of Eleni Kossyfidou, for Blackbird Productions), which hinges on a car crash that throws Makis and Maria together. But what the former considers to be progress, the latter sees as a threat...
Lastly, Poland’s Piotr Zlotorowicz (who made a splash at Locarno with his short film Mother Earth) is readying Eloe (produced by Mariusz Wlodarski for Lava Films), which unfolds on a former state-owned farm, where a family up to their eyes in debt with the local mafia hope to get themselves out of this sticky situation by buying a horse. The animal will need training so that the family can take part in a prestigious cross-country race in the Czech Republic, but the family relations between the two sons and their father are somewhat complicated...
Also on the programme of the Workshops are the screenings of several films, whose directors will all be making the trip to Angers: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile] by Finnish director Juho Kuosmanen, Alain Guiraudie’s Staying Vertical [+see also:
interview: Alain Guiraudie
film profile], Justine Triet’s In Bed with Victoria [+see also:
interview: Justine Triet
film profile], Laurent Teyssier’s Toril [+see also:
interview: Laurent Teyssier
film profile], Katell Quillévéré’s Heal the Living [+see also:
interview: Katell Quillévéré
film profile] and Julia Ducournau’s Raw [+see also:
interview: Julia Ducournau
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.