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PRODUCTION France

Assayas, Ceylan and Ameur-Zaimeche for Arte France Cinéma

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- The cinema branch of the Franco-German channel will support Sils Maria, Sommeil d’hiver and Histoire de Judas Iscariote

Assayas, Ceylan and Ameur-Zaimeche for Arte France Cinéma

Carried by Olivier PèreArte France Cinéma has selected three new projects it will fund in coproduction and pre-purchase: Sils Maria (provisional title) by Olivier Assayas, Sommeil d’hiver by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Histoire de Judas Iscariote by Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche.

Produced by Charles Gillibert, Sils Maria by Olivier Assayas (photo) will be filmed next summer in Germany and Switzerland with a cast featuring Juliette Binoche (currently in theatres in Camille Claudel 1915 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bruno Dumont
film profile
]
 and who already worked for the filmmaker in Summer Hours [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Australian actress Mia Wasikowska. The screenplay focuses on Maria Enders, an actress at the peak of her international career. 20 years after winning success when playing the part of Sigrid, a very young girl who fascinates the mature Helena and pushes her to suicide, Maria finds herself confronted with this same play, but from the other side of the fence. Will she accept to be, in her turn, the victim, to face her doubts, questions, and insecurities, all so common at a mature age, and that she had so far managed to evade? As a reminder, Olivier Assayas participated three times in the competition in Cannes (in 2000, 2002 and 2004) and once in competition in Venice (in 2012 with Something in the Air [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
).

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Arte France Cinéma has also selected Sommeil d’hiver by Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, which will be produced on the French side by Memento Films. The movie, whose filming began in February and will end in May in Turkey, focuses on the main character Aydin, a retired actor who owns a small hotel in Central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal, from whom he feels emotionally withdrawn, and his sister Necla, still suffering from her recent divorce. In winter, the snow covers the steppe land and boredom rekindles grievances, causing Aydin to leave. The director (selected four times in competition in Cannes, winner of the Grand Prix for Uzak in 2003 – also rewarded as Best Actor –, Best Director for Three Monkeys in 2008, and Grand Prix laureate in 2011 with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) deals with the intrigue through the lens of “this vain stubbornness of men to pursue their efforts without ever giving up and this, despite solitude, sometimes sadness and the tragico-comical twists that lead them towards their destiny".

The third project to be selected is Histoire de Judas Iscariote by Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, which will be the 5th movie by this filmmaker revealed in 2002 by Wesh, Wesh, What's Happening? and who then participated in Un Certain Regard in Cannes (Bled Number One [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 in 2006), the Directors' Fortnight (Dernier Maquis [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 in 2008) and the competition in Locarno (Smugglers' Songs [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 in 2011). His next opus, to be produced by Sarrazink and filmed next autumn with the singer Arthur H in the cast, will tackle a modern historical approach of antique Judaism and primitive Christianity which will rehabilitate Judas, a victim like Jesus of power games, fear and ignorance. The screenplay? In Judaea, under the occupation of Roman forces, a community of men and women is grouped together around the rabbi Jesus of Nazareth, who mesmerizes the crowds. When Jesus chases the merchants out of the temple, Judas Iscariote, a much-loved disciple and intendant, reveals himself as the guardian of the master’s words... 

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(Translated from French)

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