Tony Gatlif almost ready with Djam
by Vassilis Economou
- The experienced French director is returning to Cannes with his latest feature, which will be screened during a Cinéma de la Plage special event complete with a concert
Seasoned French film director Tony Gatlif is returning to the Cannes Film Festival with his latest feature, Djam [+see also:
film profile] (previously known as Avril et Djam). The film will be screened during a Cinéma de la Plage special event complete with a concert, and is one of the movies selected to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the prestigious film gathering.
Djam, a young Greek woman, is sent to Istanbul by her uncle Kakourgos to find a rare engine part for their broken boat. There she will meet Avril, a young French woman who is broke and lost, and who travelled to Turkey to work as a volunteer in a humanitarian organisation. Djam, with her liberal, generous and unpredictable soul, will take Avril under her wing, and together they will take a trip to the city of Mytilene on Lesbos, discovering the local music, hope and the pleasure of sharing.
Greek actress and 2016 Berlinale Shooting Star Daphne Patakia (Interruption [+see also:
interview: Daphné Patakia
interview: Yorgos Zois
film profile], Spring Awakening [+see also:
film profile]) plays the lead role. In addition, French actors Maryne Cayon and Simon Abkarian breathe life into the rest of the main characters, while Eleytheria Komi, Kimonas Kouris, Mihalis Iatropoulos and Yiannis Bostantzoglou round off the Greek cast. The film was mainly shot in Greek locations, and apart from Mytilene, many towns in the northern-eastern region of Thrace were used.
Djam will be the fifth Cannes premiere for Gatlif. His first time taking part was in 1993 with Latcho Drom, and in 2004 he won the Best Director Award for Exiles. His last time treading the Croisette was three years ago, with Geronimo [+see also:
film profile]. As is customary in Gatlif’s films, music also plays a prominent role in Djam, and this time he focuses on rebetiko music, a genre that was developed by the Greeks in the early 20th century in Asia Minor and on the Aegean islands.
Djam is a French-Greek-Turkish co-production, and the budget totals €2.49 million. The main production company is France’s Princes Films, while French outfit Pyramide Productions and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Cinéma are also on board as co-producers. Blonde Audiovisual Productions from Greece and Güverte Film from Turkey round off the co-production team. The film has been granted Eurimages funding and has also received the support of both France’s CNC and the Greek Film Centre (see the news). France’s Les Films du Losange is handling the national release and world sales, while Canal+ has already pre-purchased the movie.
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