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CINEMED 2018 Industry

Guillaume de Seille • Producer

"Strong emerging writers, original style and brave projects"

by 

- We met up with the French producer Guillaume de Seille to talk about M. Siam's Carnaval (Sang et Miel) project at the Cinemed Meetings

Guillaume de Seille • Producer

The French producer Guillaume de Seille has a whopping forty feature films to his name with his company Arizona Productions, including the recent films The Gentle Indifference of the World [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adilkhan Yerzhanov
film profile
]
by the Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Cannes 2018 – Un Certain Regard), The Man Who Surprised Everyone [+see also:
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trailer
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]
 by the Russian directors Natalia Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov (screened at Venice in the Orizzonti section), Jumpman [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan I Tverdovsky
film profile
]
by their compatriot Ivan I Tverdovsky (in competition this year at Karlovy Vary), Ága [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Milko Lazarov
film profile
]
by the Bulgarian director Milko Lazarov (out of competition this year at the Berlinale), Out [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: György Kristóf
film profile
]
by the Slovakian director György Kristóf (Cannes 2017 - Un Certain Regard) and Khibula [+see also:
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interview: George Ovashvili
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]
by the Georgian director George Ovashvili (in competition at Karlovy Vary in 2017). We met up with him at theCinemed Meetings event at the 40th Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival, where he pitched the project Carnaval (Sang et Miel) by the Egyptian director M. Siam for the Development Aid Scholarship.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Cineuropa: What attracted you to Carnaval (Sang et Miel)?
Guillaume de Seille: It all started two years ago in Cairo. There are always pitches and projects at co-production markets, but also more and more works in progress oriented towards sellers and distributors, but I like to attend anyway. Once or twice a year, I spot a film that I like, but which I can't do anything for because I can't ask for funding in France or convince a distributor because there’s no big festival showcase. This was the case with the first images I saw of M. Siam's documentary Amal, which he had not yet finished filming and editing. I was amazed, I met up with him and told him that everything spoke to me, from the way he filmed it to the editing. I told him that it was exactly the kind of cinema I wanted to support and that if he ever decided to go down the fiction route, I wanted to be involved. A year later, he contacted me to tell me that he was moving into fiction, focusing on a difficult subject, police brutality, and that he wanted us to work together. We now have a first version of a screenplay that we've not yet passed on and a third version of some very solid processing. The second version of the screenplay should be ready in December, January or February. Police brutality acts as the backdrop to the story, but the real subject of the film is a policeman in his forties who is not quite got his head screwed on properly and who finds himself mixed up in a relationship with a girl who’s about 12 years old and who is a bit head strong, right in the middle of 2011 revolution. A whole section of the film takes place in a zoo in full chaos, with animals running around on the loose. It’s a colourful, harsh and realistic depiction of what happened with the police force during the revolution, but through the prism of a "badass" duo. Filming will most likely take place in the Maghreb (Morocco or Tunisia) or Kuwait.

Is this project representative of Arizona Productions' editorial line?
Yes, because the idea is to defend strong emerging writers, original style and brave projects. And Carnival (Sang et Miel) is exactly that. A historical film with animals running wild in a country in revolution – the project is a little crazy, but I like it.

What other projects are you working on at the moment?
The Play, the fifth film by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras (which has already won awards at Sundance) is a feature film by a Chilean director currently in post-production, it was shot in Czech with Korean funding and has mostly been approved in France. Then at the end of production we have Oleg by the Latvian director Juris Kursietis (who was selected at Toronto in 2014 with Modris [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
), shot in Polish in Belgium. We're also working on the first Tunisian feature film, Before It's Too Late by Majdi Lakhdar, which is currently in the final stages and is quite a surprising feature, on the edge of genre cinema. The film will be at the Takmil Carthage Film Festival, and then at the Cairo Film Connection. We also have four films currently being filmed (one in Palestine, one in Azerbaijan, one in Turkey and one in Montenegro), as well as the second feature film by a Russian filmmaker, which is currently being edited.

(Translated from French)

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