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FUNDING France

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The Gan Foundation backs Les Particules

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- Blaise Harrison is among the directors of the projects selected for 2017; the lucky few also include Jean-Bernard Marlin, Jayro Bustamante, Meryem Benm'Barek and Florence Miailhe

The Gan Foundation backs Les Particules
Director Blaise Harrison

Yesterday evening, the Gan Foundation for Film, which this year celebrates 30 years of supporting first and second feature-film projects, unveiled the list of its five selected projects for 2017.

Standing out among them is Les Particules, which will be the feature-length fiction debut by French-Swiss filmmaker Blaise Harrison, who turned heads with the documentaries Armand, 15 ans l’été (a medium-length film presented in the 2011 Directors’ Fortnight) and Harmony [+see also:
trailer
festival scope
film profile
]
 (a feature revealed in the competitive Filmmakers of the Present section at Locarno in 2013).

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Written by the director together with Mariette Désert, the story revolves around 17-year-old PA and his gang of friends, who are slogging through their final year at secondary school at the foot of the Jura Mountains. One-hundred metres beneath their feet, the LHC (Large Hadron Collider), the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, is causing proton collisions that enable scientists to detect as-yet unknown particles. As winter descends on the region and PA becomes aware that the world is changing all around him, he begins to sense unusual glowing and distortions in the landscape, and tiny changes in the environment... According to Harrison, the film will sit "at a genre crossroads. It’s a trip that rekindles adolescent emotions, a minimalistic and hypnotic ‘teen movie’, a kind of clash between teen chronicle and fantastic film. On one hand, you’ve got this essential research into the creation of the universe, and on the other, the ordinary day-to-day life of teenagers in a somewhat peculiar setting, crossed with the biggest particle accelerator in the world and dominated by the imposing peaks of the Haut-Jura, the real backbone of the country. Three different levels, three worlds bound by a certain essence, which end up meeting.”

Produced by Estelle Fialon for Les Films du Poisson (which also partnered up with the director on his two previous films), Les Particules will be co-produced by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma and by Swiss outfit Bande à part Films, and has also secured backing from the CNC’s advance on receipts, the Centre region, the MEDIA programme and the SSA grant. The shoot will kick off in the Ain department in January. 

The Gan Foundation will also be supporting Shéhérazade by Jean-Bernard Marlin (produced by Géko Films – see the article), Tremblings by Jayro Bustamante (produced by Tu Vas Voir – see the article) and Sofia by Meryem Benm'Barek (Curiosa Films). We should also highlight that this year’s Special Prize was given to the animated film La Traversée by Florence Miailhe (produced by Les Films de l'Arlequin – see the news). Lastly, a “30 Years” Award was bestowed upon L'Image originelle, a series of portraits of filmmakers, set to be directed by Pierre-Henri Gibert and being produced by Caïman Productions.

The Gan Foundation for Film has supported more than 180 films (which have won 31 César Awards, 15 prizes at Cannes and more than 300 accolades around the world) since it was founded, investing a total of almost €30 million. Standing out among the works backed previously are the recent titles Bloody Milk [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Hubert Charuel
film profile
]
 by Hubert CharuelUntil the Birds Return [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Karim Moussaoui
film profile
]
 by Karim MoussaouiM [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Sara Forestier
film profile
]
 by Sara ForestierOblivion Verses [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alireza Khatami
film profile
]
 by Alireza KhatamiAfter the War [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Annarita Zambrano
film profile
]
 by Annarita ZambranoDivines [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Houda Benyamina
film profile
]
 by Houda BenyaminaMy Life as a Zucchini [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Claude Barras
film profile
]
 by Claude BarrasMercenary [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Sacha Wolff
film profile
]
 by Sacha WolffThe Red Turtle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Michaël Dudok de WitDogs [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Bogdan Mirica
film profile
]
 by Bogdan Mirica and Long Way North [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Rémy Chayé. Other noteworthy upcoming films are A Woman at War by Iceland’s Benedikt Erlingsson (see the article), the animated titles La Fameuse Invasion des Ours en Sicile by Italy’s Lorenzo Mattotti and Mr. Wu by Patrick ZachmannnCornelius, the Howling Miller by Yann Le Quellec (set to be released in France on 2 May 2018 – see the article), and L'Etat sauvage by David Perrault.

(Translated from French)

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