La papesse Jeanne currently shooting
by Fabien Lemercier
- Agathe Bonitzer and Grégoire Tachnakian are among the cast of Jean Breschand’s feature debut, staged by La Huit Production
In Corsica, the end is now in sight for the shoot for La papesse Jeanne (lit. “Pope Jeanne”), the fiction feature debut by Jean Breschand, who has over ten shorts and documentaries to his name (particularly docs about artists and about Theo Angelopoulos, among others). The cast includes Agathe Bonitzer (popular in such titles as Coming Home [+see also:
film profile], The Nun [+see also:
interview: Guillaume Nicloux
film profile] and Under the Rainbow [+see also:
film profile]; nominated for the Lumière Award for Most Promising Actress in 2013 for A Bottle in the Gaza Sea [+see also:
film profile]; set to appear on screens soon in Tout de suite maintenant – read the news) and Grégoire Tachnakian (who made quite a splash in The Rendez-Vous of Déjà-Vu [+see also:
Written by Jean Breschand, the story begins somewhere in Europe, in the 9th century. Jeanne is the daughter of a wandering monk whom she follows as he trudges the roads. When he dies, she finds refuge in a convent, where she becomes a scribe. There, she meets the love of her life, Fromentin, a smart, young monk whom she runs away with. United by love, they roam a lawless world, where ancient religions overlap with new ones – that is, until they come face to face with man’s murderous insanity. And until Fromentin kills a man, before he himself dies in turn. And so a new life begins for Jeanne. The young woman captivates those she comes across, and she eventually reaches Rome. At the Lateran, the elderly Leo IV spots her skills. And when the Pope breathes his last, it is obvious to everyone: she is chosen as his successor...
Produced by Stéphane Jourdain for La Huit Production, La papesse Jeanne is co-produced by Cined Production and Les Films d'Ici. Backed by the CNC’s advance on receipts and the Gan Foundation for Cinema, the feature is also supported by the Corsica region, where the entirety of the shoot is taking place (from 18 May - 12 June, in l'Ile Rousse, Cap Corse and Corte). Distribution in France and international sales are currently being negotiated.
This year, La Huit Production unveiled Journey into Post-History by Vincent Dieutre in the Forum section of the Berlinale; the Paris-based outfit has in fact produced the last three features by the director (the other two being Roland Wounded in 2013 and Jaurès [+see also:
film profile] in 2012).
(Translated from French)