The CNC's advance on receipts for Vers la bataille
by Fabien Lemercier
- The CNC will be backing the feature debut by Aurélien Vernhes-Lermusiaux, produced by Noodles, as well as those by Rachid Hami, Sofia Djama and François-Xavier Drouet
Mexico, 1860, on the trail of a man whom the French Army has assigned to take photos of the colonial war that is raging in the country: this is the setting for the screenplay of Vers la bataille (lit. “Towards the Battle”) by Aurélien Vernhes-Lermusiaux, one of the four feature-debut projects selected during the last 2015 session of the advance on receipts of the CNC (which from now on will be presided over by publisher Teresa Cremisi, who has succeeded Serge Toubiana).
Since 2006, Aurélien Vernhes-Lermusiaux, a graduate of Le Fresnoy, has directed ten short and medium-length films: namely, La Lèvre fendue, L'inconnu, The Passenger, Le Rescapé, Le jour où le fils de Raïner s’est noyé, Le Fracas des pattes de l’araignée, Poisson, Hashima mon amour, Dzisiaj and Les photographes. For Vers la bataille, his transition to a feature-length project, the filmmaker has co-written the screenplay with Olivier Demangel. Lost between the battle lines, and always showing up too late, Louis, the main character, is unable to take even the most mundane snap. Thanks to his friendship with Pinto, a Mexican farmer to whom his fate will be inextricably bound, his search will lead him to discover not fame and fortune, but the reality of the war, and of the way they perceive the men and the world around them. The production of Vers la bataille is being headed by Julien Naveau for Noodles Productions (who has already worked with the director three times in the past).
The CNC's advance on receipts will also be supporting La moutonnière by Sofia Djama, which will be produced by Liaison Cinématographique. Having turned a lot of heads with her short film Mollement un samedi matin, the filmmaker has written a screenplay that was already singled out with a Special Mention at the Sopadin Grand Prix for Best Screenwriter in 2015. Set in Algiers, a few years after the Civil War, the plot follows Amal and Samir, who are on their way to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary at a restaurant. During their journey, they both reminisce about their Algeria(s): Amal through the shattering of his dreams, and Samir through the need to make the best of the situation. At the same time, Fahim, their son, and his friends Feriel and Réda wander Algiers, which is gradually closing in on itself...
Lastly, the CNC will also back La mélodie by Rachid Hami (who co-wrote the screenplay with Guy Laurent and Valérie Zenatti – produced by Nicolas Mauvernay for Mizar Films) and the documentary project Vert désert by François-Xavier Drouet (produced by L'atelier documentaire).
(Translated from French)