Deroo and Pistone prepare Mouton
by Fabien Lemercier
18/11/2011 - In January, the five-week shoot will start in Lower Normandy, near Caen, on the debut feature by directorial duo Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone (pictured): Mouton (“Sheep”). Having attracted attention in 2008 with the medium-length film Hiver (Les Grands Chats), the two filmmakers will once again use non-professional actors, except for Michael Mormentyn (who also appeared in Hiver).
Scripted by the directorial duo, the film opens in October 2007 with Aurélien Bouvier, known as "Mouton" (Sheep), who is 17 years old. It was his destiny that the young Mouton would live his simple life as a seaside restaurant employee for three years and that he would be torn away from this life after a tragic night at the Sainte-Anne ball. Here is the lingering story of his mates who have remained in a town now inhabited by dogs and hopes contained in small gestures.
"We’ve fought hard for this project since we obtained the advance on receipts from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC)", Deroo told Cineuropa. "The screenplay sparked a lot of enthusiasm, but as there are no well-known actors, our writing is quite unusual and it’s a debut feature, in the end there have been no pre-acquisitions from TV companies, even though Michel Reilhac (Arte France Cinéma), for example, had expressed his interest. But we’ve received support from René Féret (see news), who understands our approach and is also used to working somewhat outside the traditional circuit."
Produced by Boule de Suif (the director’s company) for a €1m budget, Mouton also has funding from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (through the CRRAV) and support from Studio Le Fresnoy. It will be released in French theatres by JML Distribution.
In 2010, France produced 63 debut features (out of 203 accredited majority productions), 18 of which received (like Mouton) an advance on receipts from the CNC. As for TV financing, 24 of these debut features were co-produced by unencrypted channels, 35 pre-bought by Canal+, six by TPS, 34 by Ciné+ and three by Orange Cinémas Séries. However, 16 debut features were not financed by any television network (which is still the case for Mouton).
(Translated from French)