Yolande Moreau heads east in Voyage en Chine
by Fabien Lemercier
- The Belgian actress heads up the cast of Zoltan Mayer’s feature debut, a Haut et Court production that has been filming for the last two weeks in Szechuan
According to Cineuropa’s sources, Zoltan Mayer has been shooting his debut feature film, Voyage en Chine [+see also:
film profile], in Langzhong, Szechuan, since 10 March. The director, who is of French heritage on his mother’s side and Hungarian on his father’s, is best known for his photographs, which have been the subject of many international exhibitions. However, he has also worked in theatre and made a name for himself in 1996 with his medium-length film Hélium (selected at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes). Playing the lead roles in Voyage en Chine are the excellent Belgian actress Yolande Moreau (winner of the Best Actress César in 2005 and 2009 for When the Sea Rises and Séraphine [+see also:
film profile], and nominated for the Best Supporting Actress César in 2013 for her role in Camille Rewinds [+see also:
film profile]) and Qu Jingjing.
Written by the director, the story revolves around Liliane, a quiet, small-town nurse in her fifties who has to face the brutal death of her son in China. She decides to travel there to repatriate the body. This grief-stricken voyage rapidly turns into an initiatory trip, and gives her the chance to uncover the details of her son’s life (whom she had not seen for several years) and to make a fresh start thanks to her exploration of a new culture.
Produced by Carole Scotta, Simon Arnal and Julie Billy for Haut et Court (which will handle distribution in French cinemas), Voyage en Chine is being co-produced by France 3 Cinéma, has also been pre-purchased by Canal+ and Orange Cinéma Séries, and also benefits from a support from Sofica Indéfilms and La Banque Postale. International sales are headed by Indie Sales. The four-week shoot, which will take place in China (three weeks in Szechuan and Shanghai) and in the Paris region, will wrap on 12 April. The executive producer is Natasha Devilliers for China Blue
Haut et Court recently co-produced and handled French distribution for L'institutrice by Israeli director Nadav Lapid (currently in post-production) and The Lobster [+see also:
Q&A: Yorgos Lanthimos
film profile] by Greece’s Yorgos Lanthimos (now in production). Among the titles in development is La fille de Brest by Emmanuel Bercot, which is based on a major scandal within French industry, with a screenplay in the style of Erin Brockovich.
Simply in terms of distribution, Haut et Court has several post-production films in reserve, directed by some very promising young French filmmakers: Les combattants by Thomas Cailley (read the article), Tristesse Club by Vincent Mariette (read the article), L'oranais by Lyes Salem (read the news) and Bébé Tigre [+see also:
film profile] by Cyprien Vial (read the article). And this is not to mention its two animated films currently in production (Yellowbird... Ready for take off [+see also:
film profile] by duo Dominique Monféry and Christian de Vita, and Song of the Sea by Irish director Tomm Moore) as well as, of course, Return to Ithaca by Laurent Cantet (read the news), which is currently being edited.
(Translated from French)