Media frenzy over Sarkozy’s election Conquest
by Fabien Lemercier
Accompanied by a media frenzy, two unusual French films will be screened out of competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival (May 11-22, 2011), completing the panorama of titles by French directors in official selection (see news and news).
Xavier Durringer’s The Conquest [+see also:
film profile] retraces Nicolas Sarkozy’s electoral campaign for the 2007 French presidential elections in a drama centred on ambition, sacrifice and paranoia. It stars Denis Podalydès, Florence Pernel, Bernard Lecoq, Hippolyte Girardot and Samuel Labarthe, in the roles of Nicolas and Cécilia Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac, current Interior Minister Claude Guéant, and Dominique de Villepin, respectively.
Produced by Nicolas and Eric Altmayer for Mandarin Cinéma, the €6.42m film was pre-bought by Canal+ and CinéCinéma. It will be launched in theatres on May 18 (the day of its Cannes screening) by Gaumont, which is also handling international sales.
A silent black-and-white film set in Hollywood between 1927 and 1931 marks the latest venture by Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin, the director and star of The Artist [+see also:
film profile] (see news), following their quirky hit comedies OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies [+see also:
film profile] and OSS 117: Lost in Rio [+see also:
film profile]. The cast also includes Bérénice Béjo, John Goodman, James Cromwell and Penelope Ann Miller.
Produced by La Petite Reine and ARP Sélection (who will handle French theatrical distribution) for €13.47m, the film was co-produced by Studio 37 and France 3 Cinéma, and pre-bought by Canal + and Ciné Cinéma. International sales are being managed by Wild Bunch.
Finally, Cannes will show special screenings of the documentaries Le Maître des Forges de l’Enfer by Cambodian director Rithy Panh (CDP – Catherine Dussart Productions); Tous au Larzac by Christian Rouaud (€0.91m budget – produced by Elzevir Films with Arte France Cinéma, with an advance on receipts from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC) and backing from the Ile-de-France region); and Michel Petrucciani by Brit director Michael Radford (€1.45m budget – produced by Les Films d'Ici with Germany and Italy, in co-production with Arte France Cinéma; sold by Wild Bunch).
(Translated from French)