Neuilly Sa Mère! enjoys surprise success
Gabriel Julien-Laferrière’s debut feature, the social comedy Neuilly Sa Mère ! [+see also:
film profile] (“Neuilly His Mother!”), released on August 12 by TFM Distribution on 389 screens, is currently enjoying surprise success at the French box office, having garnered 432,000 admissions (€2.5m) in its first week.
Starring young actors Samy Seghir, Jérémy Denisty and Joséphine Japy, alongside Rachida Brakni (set to appear as of November 25 in Eric Valette’s State Affairs [+see also:
film profile]) and Denis Podalydès (who will grace screens as of September in Xabi Molia’s Eight Times Up [+see also:
film profile], selected at San Sebastian in the Zabaltegi-New Directors section), the film also includes guest appearances from Valérie Lemercier, Josiane Balasko, Eric & Ramzy, Olivier Baroux, François-Xavier Demaison and Élie Semoun, among others.
Co-written by Philippe and Marc de Chauveron and based on an original idea by filmmaker Djamel Bensalah ("I wanted to make a film reminiscent of Life Is a Long Quiet River and Prince of Bel-Air"), Neuilly Sa Mère! traces the misadventures of 14-year-old Sami Benboudaoud, who is uprooted from his life on a working-class housing estate in Chalon-sur-Saône and thrust into the ultra-bourgeois environment of Neuilly-sur-Seine.
In the private mansion of his aunt Djamila and her very strict husband, Stanislas de Chazelle, Sami has to share the daily life of his cousin Charles, who harbours racist prejudices and is obsessed with becoming French president one day (for the record, Nicolas Sarkozy began his political career as a town councillor in Neuilly).
Enrolled at a smart private school, Sami has to prove to everyone that he’s not a good-for-nothing from the slums, ready to plunder his aunt’s mansion, hold his new friends to ransom and burn out cars.
Produced by Djamel Bensalah and Isaac Sharry for Miroir Magique and Vito Films, Neuilly Sa Mère! had a budget of €4.99m. This included €600,000 in co-production support and pre-sales from France 2 Cinéma, €384,000 from the Ile-de-France region and pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.
(Translated from French)
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