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A tantalising Work-in-Progress section for Les Arcs

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- Frédéric Boyer, the artistic director of the Les Arcs European Film Festival (13-20 December), gives us a breakdown of the 2014 Work-in-Progress selection

A tantalising Work-in-Progress section for Les Arcs

During its previous editions, the Work-in-Progress (WIP) section of the Les Arcs European Film Festival (whose sixth edition takes place from 13-20 December 2014 – read the article on the selection of the titles) has enabled a number of sales agents to make some decidedly profitable acquisitions – and this year, the WIP will have ten films on offer. These works that are currently being shot or are in post-production will be presented on Sunday 14 December by their producers and directors during a Special Screening hosted by Frédéric Boyer, the artistic director of the Les Arcs Festival (also a selector for the Tribeca Film Festival in New York), who gave Cineuropa a sneak preview of his selection.

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“This is the first year that I’ve seen so many films that I would have loved to have had, but which I couldn’t take in the end, because they had found an international sales agent in the meantime. Despite that, going on what we’ve got left, it’s the best year since the first edition of Work-in-Progress at Les Arcs, in my opinion. It’s also the first year that we’ve had so many movies that are still being shot, such as It's Time by Romanian director Adrian Sitaru. We also have some astonishing titles, like My Name Is Emily by Irish filmmaker Simon Fitzmaurice, an incredible man who, as I discovered after I’d selected his film – which is superb – suffers from a very serious degenerative disease, and he gets around by steering with his eyes and with the help of a machine. A number of stars supported a crowdfunding campaign so that he could bring this project to fruition.

“There will also be Sparrows [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Atli Óskar Fjalarsson
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
 by Iceland’s Runar Runarsson, which promises to betruly magnificent, and he turned down quite a few requests from sales agents so that he could come to Les Arcs specially; this title will be unveiled at a major festival, without a doubt. We also took Rams by his fellow countryman Grimur Hakonarson because it would be foolish to restrict yourself to just one film per country: quality is the only thing that takes priority.

“I should also mention Family Film [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Olmo Omerzu
film profile
]
(read the article) by Olmo Omerzu, a young Slovenian filmmaker who studied at the FAMU and who is a kind of little genius who already turned a lot of heads at Berlin. This time around, he went to Thailand to shoot a film produced by the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Slovenia and Slovakia.

“The selection also includes Galloping Mind by Belgian director Wim Vandekeybus (staged by Savage Film, which produced Bullhead [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Bart Van Langendonck
interview: Michaël R. Roskam
film profile
]
), The High Sun by Croatian filmmaker Dalibor Matanic, We Are Dead by Switzerland’s Tobias Nölle, the Russian film Pioneer Heroes by Nataliya Kudryashova and Magic Mountain by Romanian director Anca Damian (read the article), which blends documentary and animation. All in all, the standard of the ten selected films is very high. Each of the presentations, which last ten minutes, is tailor-made for Les Arcs, featuring two or three scenes (preferably showcasing different moods, which we handpick together with the directors) and a conversation to shine the spotlight on the filmmakers and producers in attendance.

“Some sales agents come to Les Arcs expressly for this daytime Work-in-Progress event because over the years, we have built up the credibility of the selection and offer some great opportunities shortly before Berlin. But there is also the Coproduction Village (read the article), which plays an important role in attracting the sales agents because certain festivals only present Works in Progress and don’t have a market like the one you can find at Les Arcs.”

(Translated from French)

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