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Melodrama Habibi granted advances on receipts


With backing of €480,000, Melodrama Habibi, the debut feature by Lebanese-born director Hany Tamba (2006 Best Short Cesar for After Shave), is one of the main beneficiaries of the recent advances on receipts, announced by the CNC.

Melodrama Habibi will be produced by Emmanuel Agneray and Jérôme Bleitrach for Bizibi Productions – who have been working with the director since his first short – and will star Patrick Chesnais (Not Here to Be Loved [+see also:
film profile

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The film is about a singer who had a one-hit wonder in the seventies. Fired from his job as a hotel receptionist and struggling to get over a failed love affair with a young colleague, he finds himself at an all time low. Then a rich Lebanese industrialist turns up and invites the former singer to sing at his wife’s birthday in Lebanon, a country very receptive to French music.

The voyage is described by the film’s producer Emmanuel Agneray as "Lost in Translation in Beirut" and sees the singer meeting a series of richly colourful characters and learning to love life again.

Pre-bought and co-produced by France 3 Cinéma, Melodrama Habibi – which also has pre-sales from Canal + – will shoot from May 28 in France for one week, followed by another six in Lebannon.

Haut et Court will handle the title’s French release in the first half of 2008.

CNC Director General Véronique Cayla also granted two advances on receipts for pre-production of €420,000 each to Arnaud Desplechin’s Un conte de Noël, which is currently shooting in the north of France (Why Not Productions, see article), and to Khaled Ghorbal’s Un si beau voyage (BVNG Productions and Yoko Films), starring Farid Choppel, which starts lensing in Paris on April 16.

Two advances on receipts for expenses after production were also granted. Last Wednesday’s release, Marie Helia’s Microclimat [+see also:
film profile
(Paris-Brest Productions), received €100,000, while Jane Birkin’s Boxes (Les Films de la Croisade), opening through Pyramide on May 30, was granted €152,000.

(Translated from French)

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