Séraphine, Vinyan and Go Fast form Franco-Belgian alliance
by Fabien Lemercier
01/10/2008 - Among the ten new releases hitting French screens today are five diverse domestic productions, four US titles and an Argentine feature. The most striking aspect is that two projects spearheaded by France are helmed by young Belgian directors: Fabrice Du Welz’s Vinyan [trailer] and Olivier Van Hoofstadt’s Go Fast [trailer].
Launched by its producer EuropaCorp on 286 screens, Go Fast (see news) by Van Hoofstadt (Dikkenek) stars Roschdy Zem and Belgium’s Olivier Gourmet. The film looks at police infiltration of a gang of cannabis traffickers who travel the roads at high speed. Co-produced by Avalanche Productions, the €10.25m title was pre-bought by Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.
French/UK/Belgian co-production Vinyan by Du Welz (The Ordeal [trailer]) is equally dramatic. Starring Emmanuelle Béart and UK actor Rufus Sewell, the film tells the story of a couple searching for their child who disappeared in the Thai tsunami.
Unveiled out of competition at the latest Venice Film Festival (see news and interview), the €4.1m feature was piloted by The Film, along with Pilchard Productions, Film4, K2, One Eyed and RTBF. Wild Bunch Distribution are releasing the title on a 53-print run.
Diaphana are launching on 161 screens Martin Provost’s Séraphine [trailer] (see news). Starring Belgium’s Yolande Moreau (2005 Cesar award for When the Sea Rises), Germany’s Ulrich Tukur (The Lives of Others [trailer, film focus]) and Swiss actress Anne Bennent, the film traces the discovery of an unconventional woman painter.
Lauded by critics, the title was co-produced by French company TS Productions (85% investment) and Belgium’s Climax Films (15%). The €3.99m budget included co-production support from France 3 Cinéma, an advance on receipts from the National Film Centre (CNC) and backing from the Ile-de-France region, Canal +, Ciné Cinéma, RTBF and the French Community of Belgium.
Gaumont are releasing a 367-print run of their co-production Client [trailer] (see news) by Josiane Balasko, which will screen in competition at the forthcoming RomeFilmFest. Centred on a lonely 50-year-old woman who pays young men to relieve her sexual and emotional emptiness, the film stars Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca, Isabelle Carré and the director.
Produced by LGM for €9.55m, Client was co-produced by France 3 Cinéma with backing from the Ile-de-France region.
Also hitting screens is Bertrand Bonello’s more radical auteur film On War [trailer], featuring Mathieu Amalric, Italian actress Asia Argento, Guillaume Depardieu and Clotilde Hesme. Unveiled in the latest Cannes Directors’ Fortnight (see news), the €2.62m title was co-produced by Films du lendemain and My New Picture and received an advance on receipts from the CNC. Distribution is being handled by Ad Vitam (29 screens).
(Translated from French)