Eight promising European filmmakers at the Ateliers d’Angers
by Fabien Lemercier
- The programme features master classes for eight young directors from Finland, Germany, Estonia, Greece and France
Tomorrow, Saturday 23 August, the tenth Ateliers d’Angers will kick off, introduced and managed by Jeanne Moreau, together with the organisers of the Premiers Plans Festival. This year, eight young European filmmakers have been selected for the residence in order to help them prepare their first fiction feature film. Up until 30 August, the chosen directors will benefit from master classes led by French filmmakers Céline Sciamma and Delphine Gleize, Spanish director Jaime Rosales, his Swiss counterpart Lionel Baier, Italian producer Marta Donzelli (Vivo Film) and editor François Quiqueré, among other events.
Among those selected for the 2014 edition is Finland’s Juho Kuosmanen, with The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile], which plunges to the heart of Helsinki in 1962, where a very promising Finnish boxer is preparing to face the American world champion in the under-60kg category. It’s the biggest match of his life, but all he’s thinking about is getting back to Raija...
Two female directors will also be taking part. Mirjam Kubescha has been selected with her German project Heading North, which sees a boy from a Sicilian ghetto, an illegal Tunisian immigrant and a young, upper-class German girl head to Paris in order to pursue their dreams – but they find themselves facing a harsh reality blending love, friendship and jealousy. Born in Armenia, Nora Martirosyan is working on the French project Territoria, which is set in the High-Karabakh, a self-proclaimed republic. There, a man is eagerly awaited because his upgrade work will allow the brand-new airport to work normally and will enable the local population to be connected to the rest of the world. He also has to give a young girl an envelope containing money and a plane ticket, but time is marching on...
The Ateliers will also welcome the Greek project Pari by Siamak Etemaki, which recounts the quest undertaken by a mother in search of her son, an Iranian student who has disappeared in Greece. Also present in Angers will be Estonian filmmaker Janno Jurgens, with Rain, which revolves around a 12-year-old boy living in a seaside town, together with his domineering father and gentle mother in a fragile balance that is put off kilter when his older brother returns to the fold.
Also of note is the Franco-Estonian project Saaremaa, by Guillaume André, which sees a dangerous alteration of Sacha’s perception of reality, accompanied by disturbing physical transformations.
The 2014 iteration of the Ateliers d’Angers is rounded off by two more French projects. Une histoire de famille by Julien Guetta revolves around Alex, who has split up with Nelly over a refusal to have children. He meets her again ten years later when he accidentally “inherits” two children (whom he does not know and who are not his) and subsequently turns to a social worker to get himself out of this mess. Lastly, Morgan Simon will take part in the residence at Angers with Compte des blessures, which features a young man who has already covered half of his body in tattoos and now has a deeper voice because of his post-hardcore group. He spends his life in Paris between a job as a drill operator, which he doesn’t like one bit, and his fishmonger father, who is attempting to rebuild his life with a younger woman.
(Translated from French)