France out in force in the programme
by Fabien Lemercier
26/04/2012 - With five majority productions and four minority productions, as well as an opening film by French director Michel Gondry (American-British co-production The We and the I), French cinema is out in force in the programme of the 44th Directors’ Fortnight (article), to be held from May 17 to 27 at the 65th Cannes Film Festival.
Among the selected films, two comedies by experienced film directors shine.
Bruno Podalydès will unveil Granny’s Funeral [trailer], his sixth feature film. After attending Venice in 2005 out of competition with Le parfum de la dame en noir, the director is now off to Cannes for the first time with a film for which he co-wrote the script with his brother Denis. Both brothers also act in the film, alongside Valérie Lemercier, Isabelle Candelier, Michel Vuillermozet, and Samir Guesmi among others. Produced by Why Not on un budget of €3,43m and co-produced by France 3 Cinéma, with pre-acquisitions from Canal+ and Orange Cinéma Séries, the film will be released in France on June 20 by UGC. Wild Bunch will be in charge of international sales.
Noémie Lvovsky, another well-known actress and filmmaker will close the 2012 Fortnight with Camille Rewinds (article). After winning a Silver Leopard in Locarno in 1999 and competing in Venice in 2003, the director will make her debut in Cannes with her fifth feature in which she also acts. India Hair, Judith Chemla, Yolande Moreau, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Anne Alvaro, Mathieu Amalric, Vincent Lacoste, and Antony Sonigo will also be in the cast, alongside a trio to appear twice at the Fortnight: Denis Podalydès, Michel Vuillermoz, and Samir Guesmi. Produced by F comme Film and Ciné@ on a budget of €6.69m, the film was also co-produced by France 2 Cinéma with pre-acquisitions from Canal+ and Ciné+. Gaumont will release the film on October 17 and lead international sales.
Two first features from France are also in the line-up at the Directors’ Fortnight.
Alyah [trailer] by Elie Wajeman (article ) features actors Pio Marmaï, Adèle Haenel, Cédric Khan, and Guillaume Gouix. The film was produced by 24 Mai Production on a budget of €1.8m, and co-produced by Films Pelléas, France 2 Cinéma, and Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, with an advance on receipts from the National Centre for Cinema and the moving image (CNC). It will be distributed in France and sold abroad by Rezo.
And then there is the very mysterious Rengaine, actor and screenwriter Rachid Djaidani’s first feature, filmed over nine years and featuring Slimane Dazi, Stéphane Soo Mongo, and Sabrina Hamida (an Or Productions production with Nord-Ouest Films).
Finally, animation will also be on offer with a co-production from France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, Ernest & Celestine [trailer, film focus] by the trio Stéphane Aubier -Vincent Patar - Benjamin Renner (news) with a screenplay by Daniel Pennac. The film was produced by Les Armateurs and co-produced by La Parti, Mélusine, Maybe Moovie, France 3 Cinéma, and Studio Canal, also the film’s distributor in France and international sales agent.
France also participated in four other features to be screened at the Directors’ Fortnight: two via JBA Productions (Le repenti by Algerian director Merzak Allouache and A Respectable Family by Iranian director Massoud Bakhshi), La Sirga by Colombian director William Vega (co-produced by Ciné-Sud Promotion) and La noche de enfrente [trailer, film focus] by late Chilean director Raoul Ruiz (Margo Cinéma).
(Translated from French)