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BERLIN 2017 France

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Nine French (co-)productions in Berlin’s Forum

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- The Berlinale’s parallel section will present films by Élise Girard, Neïl Beloufa, and Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor

Nine French (co-)productions in Berlin’s Forum
Strange Birds by Élise Girard

France will be extremely well represented on the line-up of the Forum section of the 67th Berlin Film Festival (9-19 February 2017), as five majority productions and four minority ones have been selected. Standing out among them is Strange Birds by Élise Girard (read the article). The cast of the second feature by the director of Belleville Tokyo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(2011) includes Lolita Chammah, Jean Sorel and Virginie Ledoyen. Written by the director, the movie tells the story of an impossible love between a young woman and a much older man. Produced by Janja Kralj for KinoElektron, and co-produced by Reborn Production and Mikino, the film has Angelo Laudisa on board as associate producer. Strange Birds will be distributed in France by Shellac, while its international sales are handled by Movies Partners in Motion Film (MPM Film).

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Another movie selected is Occidental, the first fiction film by French-Algerian director Neïl Beloufa, who has made a name for himself in the modern-art world. Starring Idir Chender, Louise Orry Diquero, Anna Ivacheff, Hamza Meziani, Paul Hamy and Brahim Tekfa, the feature (with a screenplay written by the director) is set in the Hotel Occidental, where everyone lies and where the characters try to manipulate the plot for their own personal benefit, thus transforming a hidden love story into a case of racial profiling, a homophobic offence, or even a terrorist threat. Production duties were handled by the director himself, for Bad Manners.

The Forum will also be presenting the world premiere of the documentary Somniloquies by French director Verena Paravel and British filmmaker Lucien Castaing-Taylor (who proved highly popular in competition at Locarno in 2012 with Leviathan [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
). Produced by Paris-based outfit Norte Production together with the United States, the film (supported by such sources as Arte France - La Lucarne, Procirep and Angoa, and the CNC) is structured around the reproduction of the dreams of the most renowned and loquacious of the so-called sleep-talkers, Dion McGregor, who was recorded by his New York flatmate over a period of seven years in the 1970s.

Also of note among the majority productions is Foreign Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Tunisia’s Raja Amari, which was world-premiered at Toronto (Mon Voisin Productions – sales by Urban Distribution International), and the documentary Mama Colonel by Dieudo Hamadi (co-produced by Cinédoc Films together with the Democratic Republic of the Congo – sold by Andana Films).

Four minority French co-productions top off the national delegation, with Barrage by Laura Schroeder (starring Lolita Chammah, Isabelle Huppert and Thémis Pauwels; co-produced by Mact Productions with Luxembourg and Belgium – sold by Luxbox), My Happy Family [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Nana Ekvtimishvili, Simon G…
film profile
]
by duo Nana & Simon (co-produced by Arizona Films with Georgia and Germany; sold by Memento and just about to have its world premiere in competition at Sundance), Spell Reel by Filipa César (co-produced with Germany, Portugal and Guinea-Bissau) and Low Tide (Motza el hayam) by Daniel Mann (co-produced by Arsam International with Israel).

(Translated from French)

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