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SUNDANCE 2016 France

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Four French productions and co-productions at Sundance

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- The titles in competition include Much Ado About Nothing and Belgica, through Arizona and Pyramide, and The Settlers, staged by Les Films du Poisson

Four French productions and co-productions at Sundance
Much Ado About Nothing by Alejandro Fernández Almendras

The French film industry will have a significant presence at the next Sundance Film Festival (21-31 January 2016) with four films on the line-up in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section (three minority co-productions and one Lebanese title on a sales agent’s slate) and two on the programme of the World Cinema Documentary competition (one majority and one minority production).

Paris-based outfit Arizona Productions (Guillaume de Seille and Rémi Roy) co-produced Much Ado About Nothing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Aquí no ha pasado nada) by Chilean director Alejandro Fernández Almendras, with a 25% stake. Staged mainly by Jirafa, the movie, a work-in-progress version of which was presented at Films in Progress (San Sebastián 2015), was also co-produced by US company Motivo Films, supported by the Swiss Visions Sud-Est fund and by the CNC’s World Cinema Support, and aided to a great extent by crowdfunding. Written by the director together with Jerónimo Rodríguez, the feature gets under way with the death of a bystander, who is run over by the car of a young reveller during an alcohol-fuelled party – but who was behind the wheel? And was it really so serious? Starring such names as Agustín Silva, Much Ado About Nothing is being sold abroad by Spanish organisation Film Factory. For the record, Arizona distributed By the Fire, the second feature by Alejandro Fernández Almendras (who turned heads in the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2009 with his first opus, Huacho [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), in France in 2012, then went on to co-produce and handle French distribution of his following film: To Kill a Man [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance 2014, the KNF Award at Rotterdam and Best Film at IndieLisboa).

Meanwhile, Pyramide Productions (Francis Boespflug and Stéphane Parthenay) minority co-produced the new movie by Felix van Groeningen, Belgica [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Artemio Benki, Sylvie Leray
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
film profile
]
(read the article), together with Belgium and the Netherlands. The fifth feature by the director of The Misfortunates [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Felix van Groeningen
film profile
]
and The Broken Circle Breakdown [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Felix van Groeningen
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
interview: Felix Van Groeningen
festival scope
film profile
]
was also co-produced by France 3 Cinéma, pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, and supported by the CNC’s World Cinema Support. Pyramide will distribute it in French theatres on 2 March next year.

Also of note in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition section is the fact that Films Distribution is in charge of the foreign sales of Assad Fouladkar’s Halal Love (and Sex) [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, produced by Lebanon, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. In the same section, another minority co-production by France with Israel is in the running: Sand Storm [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Elite Zexer.

Lastly, a French executive-produced title stands out in the World Cinema Documentary Competition showcase: namely, The Settlers [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Shimon Dotan. The film, which recounts the story of the Israeli colonisation of the West Bank, was produced by Estelle Fialon for Les Films du Poisson with Canada, Israel and Germany, and with backing from such sources as Arte France, the Ile-de-France region and the Procirep Angoa. Interestingly, Les Films du Poisson, which is also very much actively involved in the production of fiction films (The Tree [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Julie Bertuccelli
film profile
]
, On Tour [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Mathieu Amalric
interview: Mathieu Amalric
film profile
]
, Land of Oblivion [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, etc), is enjoying great success with documentaries, as the Paris-based outfit has produced such movies as The Gatekeepers, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2013.

(Translated from French)

Jihlava
San Sebastián Full
Focal Production Value
 

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