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LOCARNO 2016 France

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Axelle Ropert and Julien Samani to compete for the Golden Leopard

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- The Apple of My Eye and The Young One will participate in the international competition, as well as four French minority co-productions

Axelle Ropert and Julien Samani to compete for the Golden Leopard
The Apple of My Eye by Axelle Ropert

Of the 17 feature films duking it out for the Golden Leopard at the 69th Locarno Film Festival (3-13 August 2016), two are French majority productions, while four are minority ones. A notable title in the running is The Apple of My Eye [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(read the article), Axelle Ropert’s third feature after her films The Wolberg Family [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Directors’ Fortnight 2009) and Tirez la langue, mademoiselle [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2013). The cast features Mélanie Bernier, Bastien Bouillon, Antonin Fresson, Chloé Astor, Swann Arlaud and Serge Bozon. Written by the director, the screenplay focuses on a boy and a girl. She loves music, and so does he (although of a different sort). They hate each other, and are constantly bumping into each other. Most importantly, she’s blind, while he has perfect vision. One day, when provoked, he pretends to be blind, too. It was nothing more than a bad joke, but they slowly fall in love. This makes things trickier as the deceit grows ever more explosive. Produced by David Thion for Les Films Pelléas, The Apple of My Eye had a budget of €1.86 million, which included a co-production with Arte France Cinéma, pre-sales to Ciné+ and backing from the Cinémages Sofica and the Ile-de-France region. Diaphana will distribute the film in France from 21 December, while the international sales will be handled by Les Films du Losange

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The second French filmmaker in the running for the Golden Leopard in 2016 is Julien Samani, who will unveil his first feature film, The Young One [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(news), in Switzerland. Adapted from Josheph Conrad’s book of the same name, the film features a line-up that includes Kevin Azaïs (winner of the César Award for Best Male Newcomer and the Lumière Award for Best New Actor in 2015 for his role in Love at First Fight [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Thomas Cailley
film profile
]
), Samir Guesmi (currently appearing in The Together Project [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) and Jean-François Stévenin. Co-written by the director and Camille Fontaine, the screenplay follows Zico, who longs to be elsewhere. He boards a freighter at Le Havre. Soon after, the tensions that arise between him and the other members of the crew, and his repeated injuries, dampen his adventurous dreams. These men struggle against the elements and the trials that befall them. Produced by Paolo Branco for Alfama (which will distribute the film domestically from 7 September, while also handling its international sales), The Young One was budgeted at €1.76 million, including a co-production with Portuguese outfit Leopardo Filmes, pre-sales to Ciné+ and an advance on receipts from the CNC.

Four minority French co-productions also feature in the line-up, in particular Portuguese director Joao Pedro RodriguesThe Ornithologist [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: João Pedro Rodrigues
film profile
]
(article), a 32% French co-production with Portugal and Brazil, involving House on Fire as a producer and Le Fresnoy as a co-producer. It was backed by the CNC’s world cinema support and the Franco-Portuguese co-production development fund.

Also of note are Ralitza Petrova’s Godless [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ralitza Petrova
film profile
]
 (read the article – co-produced by Alcatraz Films with Bulgaria and Denmark), By the Time It Gets Dark [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Anocha Suwichakornpong (co-produced by Survivance with Thailand, the Netherlands and Qatar) and Bangkok Nites [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Katsuya Tomita (co-produced by Les Films de L’Étranger with Japan, Thailand and Laos).

Three other Golden Leopard hopefuls are on French international sales agents’ books: the Bulgarian-Greek co-production Glory [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Petar Valchanov
interview: Petar Valchanov, Kristina G…
film profile
]
 by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, sold by Wide; the German-Swiss feature Marija [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Michael Koch
film profile
]
 by Michael Koch, sold by Luxbox; and Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces by Egypt’s Yousry Nasrallah, sold by Pyramide International. As a final note, Correspondences by Portuguese director Rita Azevedo Gomes features French actress Eva Truffaut, and French-American actress Kate Moran will sit on the jury for the international competition, which is chaired by Mexican filmmaker Arturo Ripstein.

(Translated from French)

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