Ile-de-France backs Ernest et Célestine
by Fabien Lemercier
27/11/2009 - Nine feature film projects are included in the fourth 2009 selection by the Ile-de-France Regional Support Fund for Technical Film and Audiovisual Industries.
Among them is French/Belgian/Luxembourg animated co-production Ernest et Célestine, which will start production in January. Piloted by French company Les Armateurs (on the shortlist for the 2010 Best Animated Film Oscar with The Secret of Kells [trailer, film focus]), the film will be helmed by Benjamin Renner (whose graduate short A Mouse’s Tale won the 2008 Golden Cartoon Award) and directorial duo Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier (A Town Called Panic [trailer, film focus]).
Adapted by well-known novelist Daniel Pennac from several works in Gabrielle Vincent’s successful series (600,000 illustrated books sold internationally), Ernest et Célestine traces the encounter between a little abandoned mouse and a big bear, who is a misfit, clown and musician. Threatened by despair and loneliness, the two characters rebuild each other’s confidence despite the precariousness and difficulties of life.
Ernest et Célestine is 69.5% co-produced by France, 17.2% by Belgium and 13.3% by Luxembourg for a budget of €9.2m over 300 days of production. Produced by Les Armateurs, La Parti, Mélusine and Maybe Moovie, the feature is also co-produced by France 3 Cinéma and Studio Canal (also French distributor, video editor and international seller of the title).
Pre-bought by Canal +, Ciné Cinéma and RTBF, it also has backing from Eurimages (€600,000), the Ile-de-France region (€265,000), the Belgian French Community (€350,000), Wallimage and the Luxembourg Film Fund.
Other feature film projects selected by the Ile-de-France region are Alain Corneau’s Une Femme Parfaite (“A Perfect Woman”, see news - produced by SBS Films - €455,000 in funding); Isabelle Mergault’s Un Homme Très Recherché (“A Very Wanted Man”, see news - Gaumont - €530,000); Gérald Hustache-Mathieu’s Poupoupidou (Dharamsala - €303,000); Delphine Gleize’s De Toutes Mes Forces (“With All My Strength”, Les Productions Balthazar - €285,000); and two debut features: Cyril Mennegun’s Louise Wimmer (Zadig Productions - €303,000); and Brigitte Coscas’ La Perle (“The Pearl”, Les Films du Worso - €416,000).
The selection also includes two documentary projects for the big screen: Camille Mauduech’s La Martinique aux Martiniquais (“Martinique for the Martinique Inhabitants”, Les Films du marigot - €85,000); and Jean Pierre Pozzi and Pierre Barougier’s Ce N’est Qu’un Début (“It’s Only the Beginning”, Ciel de Paris Productions - €85,000).
(Translated from French)