Three UDI trump cards showcased in Cannes
by Fabien Lemercier
- Featured in the line-up, My Favourite Fabric in the Un Certain Regard section, Chris the Swiss for Critics’ Week and Cassandro the Exotico ! for ACID
French international film sales group UDI (Urban Distribution International) will make quite an entrance at the Film Market of the 71st Cannes Film Festival (running 8 to 19 May), with their impressive line-up, with the team presided over by Frédéric Corvez and led by Delphyne Besse set to manage negotiations for three films (all directed by women), all of which are being showcased in various sections of the festival, as well as five works currently in post-production.
To be specific, the UDI films up for sale are My Favourite Fabric [+see also:
film profile] by Syrian director Gaya Jiji (with Manal Issa playing the captivating lead), which is the first full-length film produced by the French contingent at Gloria Films alongside Germany (Katuh Studio) and Turkey (Liman Film), and which will premiere in the Un Certain Regard competition. As Frédéric Corvez stresses, "This is a film that gives a very feminine viewpoint on a subject that is usually only covered by very masculine directors: the daily life of a family in Damascus on the eve of the Syrian war”.
Also in the line-up is another first full-length feature which will be presented in competition under the Critics’ Week section: Chris the Swiss [+see also:
interview: Anja Kofmel
film profile] by Anja Kofmel, a production involving Switzerland, Croatia, Germany and Finland. "It’s a hybrid film through and through, because it’s part documentary, part animation and part fiction. It’s both an intimate diary and a John Le Carré-style fast-paced thriller, revisiting the Yugoslavian war " Frédéric Corvez enthuses, pointing out the already-strong demand for this film from other festivals.
Another film in the UDI remit is the documentary Cassandro The Exotico! [+see also:
film profile] by French director Marie Losier (who was noticed in the Forum section of the 2011 Berlin Film Festival for her earlier title and first full-length feature, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye [+see also:
film profile]), which will be screened as part of the alternative ACID selection. As Frédéric Corvez explains, "This is a film by a highly formalist director, painting the picture of a high-level sportsman who is nearing the end of the road - his body is falling apart - but the film also delves into his mindset because, ultimately, this is a man who made a career for himself as a wrestler while living an openly homosexual life… How do you come through all that, and in the bizarre setting of the Mexico/US border to boot? "
The Marché du Film will also see UDI selling, hot off the promo-reel, five films in the post-production stages: The Guest by Italian director Duccio Chiarini (produced by the Italians at Mood Film alongside their fellow countrymen at Relief, the Swiss contingent at Cinédokké and their French friends at House On Fire – involving a 38 year old man who, following a separation, attempts to start afresh and sets out on a journey), Territory of Love by French director Romain Cogitore (read our article here – featuring Déborah François and Paul Hamy), the Belgian-French co-production The Mercy of the Jungle by the Rwandan Joel Karekezi, who takes us right to the very heart of the Congolese war, and two first full-length features from Canada: The Far Shore by David Uloth and the animated film (already the focus of much hype) Ville Neuve by Félix Dufour-Lapperière.
(Translated from French)
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