France driving force of international auteur film
by Fabien Lemercier
27/04/2009 - Besides the three French directors selected in competition (see news) at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival (May 13-24), ten other Gallic productions and co-productions will vie for the Palme d’Or.
First in line is Enter the Void [trailer] (see news) by Argentinean filmmaker Gaspar Noé (whose previous feature Irreversible screened in competition on the Croisette in 2002). The €12.38m film – produced by French companies Fidélité Films and Wild Bunch (70% investment) with co-production support from Germany’s Essential Filmproduktion (20%) and Italy’s BIM (10%) – received backing from Eurimages and the Franco-German mini-treaty, as well as pre-sales from Canal +.
Three other majority French productions will compete for honours. The Time That Remains by Palestinian director Elia Suleiman (Jury Prize at Cannes 2002) was, at 70%, a French majority co-production (The Film and France 3 Cinéma) with Belgium (20% - Artémis) and Italy (10% - BIM).
Tsaï Ming-Liang’s Face – starring Fanny Ardant, Laetitia Casta and Jean-Pierre Léaud – was piloted by JBA Production in co-production with the Louvre Museum, Arte France Cinéma and partners from Belgium (Tarantula), Holland (Circe Films) and Taiwan.
Finally, ARP Sélection helmed Johnnie To’s majority French production Vengeance, featuring Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Testud.
Among the other titles in competition are six minority co-productions. Ken Loach’s Looking for Eric [trailer, film focus] was 25% co-produced by France via Why Not Productions and France 2 Cinéma, with pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.
Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon [trailer, film focus] was 22% produced by France’s Les Films du Losange and France 3 Cinéma (with pre-sales from Canal + and TPS). Meanwhile, Lars von Trier’s Antichrist [trailer, film focus] received an investment of around 20% from France’s Slot Machine and Arte France Cinéma (with backing from the National Film Centre’s foreign language film fund); and Marco Bellocchio’s Vincere [trailer, film focus] was 10% produced by Celluloid Dreams.
(Translated from French)