Ameur-Zaïmeche shoots Les Chants de Mandrin
by Fabien Lemercier
05/10/2010 - Smuggling, illegal markets and the legend of a famous outlaw in the eighteenth-century French kingdom are at the centre of Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche’s fourth feature, Les Chants de Mandrin (“Mandrin’s Songs”). This French/Belgian/Spanish co-production started shooting yesterday in Aveyron.
Ameur-Zaïmeche first came to attention in 2002 with Wesh Wesh, What’s Happening?. His following two films were both selected at Cannes: Back Home [trailer] in the Un Certain Regard section in 2006 and Adhen [trailer] in the Directors’ Fortnight in 2008.
The director, who will also have an acting role in his new film, has put together a cast including Sylvain Roume, Abel Jafri, Sylvain Rifflet, Salim Ameur-Zaïmeche, Christian Milia-Darmezin, Kenji Meunier, Jean-Luc Nancy and Jacques Nolot.
Scripted by the director, the film opens after the execution of famous outlaw Louis Mandrin, a popular hero of the mid-eighteenth century, whose lament ("There were 20 or 30 of us, bandits in a gang, all dressed in white…") is engraved in history.
His companions set out on a new, risky smuggling campaign in the French provinces. Protected by their weapons, the smugglers organise illegal markets on the outskirts of villages, where they sell tobacco, fabric and precious products. They write songs in honour of Mandrin, print them and hand them out to the peasants of the kingdom.
Produced by Sarrazink Productions, Les Chants de Mandrin is co-produced by France’s Moving Scope, Belgium’s CCE and Spain’s Paco Poch. Backed by the Midi-Pyrénées and Languedoc-Roussillon regions, the film will be shot over eight weeks until November 26 in Aveyron and Hérault.
French distribution and international sales will be managed by MK2.
(Translated from French)