Chapter closes in Europacorp history
by Fabien Lemercier
28/01/2011 - EuropaCorp co-founder Pierre-Ange Le Pogam had his resignation approved yesterday, following disagreements over the company’s new structural organisation. Luc Besson’s company thus enters a new chapter in its history since its set-up in 2000.
The outgoing Le Pogam, who intends to set up his own production outfit, is for the moment keeping his shares in EuropaCorp (8% compared to 62% held by Besson and about 23% listed on the stock market). This resignation marks another episode in the turnover of EuropaCorp managers (which gathered pace in 2010) since the company’s stock market listing in 2007 in a context of economic difficulties. Indeed, the semester from March-September 2010 closed with a rising turnover (+21.4% at €57.2m), but also losses of €3.3m.
EuropaCorp will try to get back on form at the European Film Market at the 61st Berlinale (February 10-20, 2011) with a line-up spearheaded by Besson’s The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis. Scripted by Rebecca Frayn, it traces the life of the famous heroine of Burma’s democratic struggle, Aung San Suu Kyi, and her husband Michael Aris.
In Berlin, EuropaCorp will also be pinning its hopes on Radu Mihaileanu’s The Source, currently in post-production. Starring Leila Bekti and Hafsia Herzi, the film is set in a small Moroccan village where fetching water from the source is traditionally a woman’s task. One of the women, who is pregnant, falls whilst returning from the source and the women launch a sex strike in order to gain more dignity in their condition.
Produced by Oï Oï Oï Productions and Elzévir Films, The Source has co-production support from France 3 Cinéma and EuropaCorp, Belgium’s CCE, Italy’s Indigo Film and Morocco, as well as backing from Eurimages.
There will also be market premieres of Karine Silla’s Butterfly Kiss, featuring Vincent Perez, Valeria Golino, Elsa Zylberstein, Nicolas Giraud, Jalil Lespert and Cécile de France (produced by Thelma Films, co-produced by France 2 Cinéma, to be released in France on March 2); and b>Rachid Dhibou’s Halal Five-O.
Finally, in post-production, the slate also includes Olivier Megaton’s Colombiana and, in production, Irish duo James Mather and Stephen St. Leger’s science-fiction feature Lock Out, and two 3D animated films: A Monster In Paris by Bibo Bergeron and The Mechanics of the Heart by Mathias Malzieu and Stéphane Berla.
(Translated from French)