Frédéric Boyer deciphers Work-in-Progress in Les Arcs
by Fabien Lemercier
- A few days before the 5th edition of the European Film Festival des Arcs, we met with the event’s artistic director
On Saturday, the 5th edition of the European Film Festival des Arcs will begin with a great film selection (read the article) and highly anticipated professional events (read the news). Cineuropa met the event’s artistic director, Frédéric Boyer, to discuss the always fascinating Work-in-Progress which will take place on Sunday morning, December 15, with a programme of 11 titles (see the list below).
Frédéric Boyer: "Films selected for the Work-in-Progress event should not have sellers when they come to Les Arcs. But we don’t do like Thessaloniki or Sarajevo: we present a maximum of 10 minutes, with two or three sequences and images focusing on the directing. To screen an entire film can turn out to be fragile and counter-productive. They do that in San Sebastian and it works well for movies like Gloria, but it’s more difficult for films that need more editing."
"My idea is to guide the discussion towards the artistic aspect. Because everyone is obviously looking for money, a distributor or a seller. But instead of presenting something formatted in order to sell the film that could be found anywhere, I prefer to show enticing and exciting scenes: how the film begins, how music is used, how the dialogues work between the actors, the climax etc... Without unveiling the whole film, naturally.”
"It is also important to have different styles, a geographic diversity and new filmmakers. We have Liebling for example byJeroen Perceval, which is quite "rock", completely offbeat, and resembles Lars von Trier's Idiots. We also fell for Land by Jan-Willem van Ewijk, the first fiction film about windsurfing, and the ambitious The Reaper byZvonimir Juric (The Blacks). The films selected for our Work-in-Progress event will be submitted to Berlin, Cannes etc. It’s really fascinating to discover films and directors, as was the case with I Am Yours by Norwegian director Iram Haq, which was selected for Work-in-Progress 2011, and is representing Norway at the Oscars this year."
"It’s the "matchmaking" side that I’m interested in. The encounters and discussions that took place after the Work-in-Progress event proved to be very fruitful in previous years, including those who weren’t expecting it. At Les Arcs, producers selected for Work-in-Progress can also work on other projects at the co-production village.”
"This year, we received nearly 120 projects. Currently, it is much more difficult for films to find sellers because the latter are giving priority to effectiveness. This is why comedies and genre films are thriving around the world. But there is still a small place for authentic ambition, often backed by institutions such as the Norwegian Film Institute, the CNC, Flanders Images or the Croatian Film Fund, amongst others. The situation is paradoxical: it’s difficult, but there is a lot of energy all over Europe trying to bring young directors to the fore and make cinema that isn’t always "mainstream"."
The Work-in-Progress films:
Liebling by Jeroen Perceval - Savage Film (Belgium)
No One’s Child by Vuk Rsumovic - Art & Popcorn (Serbia)
The Reaper by Zvonimir Juric - Kinorama (Croatia)
Sud Eau Nord Déplacer by Antoine Boutet - Les Films du Présent (France) and Sister Productions (France)
Things I Cannot Tell by Nisan Dag and Esra Saydam - Karlakum Film (Turkey)
The Way Out by Petr Vaclav - Cinema Defacto (France), Moloko Film (Czech Republic)
Peace to us in our Dreams by Sharunas Bartas - Unlimited Films (France) – also selected for the co-production village
(Translated from French)