14 projects showcased at Cinemed Meetings
by Fabien Lemercier
- A focus on the projects selected for the 28th edition of Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival’s Development Aid Scholarship
The three-day professional event – Cinemed Meetings – organised as part of the 40th Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival kicks off on Tuesday, 23 October (read the news and interview with Christophe Leparc).
Of note in this year’s programme is the 28th edition of the Development Aid Scholarship, which has supported 84 feature film projects since its first edition in 1991. This year, the 14 selected fiction projects will be presented by their directors and producers to a jury chaired by Georges Goldenstern (Director of Cannes Film Festival Cinéfondation) and supported by the director and scriptwriter Baya Kasmi, the producer Dominique Welinski (DW Production) and his counterparts Cedomir Kolar (ASAP Films) and Nadim Cheikhrouha (Tanit Films). Three Development Aid Scholarships will be awarded with support from the CNC, the Occitanie/Pyrenees Mediterranean region and the Beaumarchais association, as well as various associated technical funds (provided by Anaphi Studio, French Kiss and Titra Films) and writing residencies (Moulin d'Andé-Céci, Mediterranean Film Institute).
It’s worth highlighting that this year’s professional event also includes the4th edition of the "From short to feature film" workshop (first-feature projects directed by filmmakers with a short film in competition at Montpellier this year, which will be judged by a jury, with two writing residencies up for grabs), the3rd edition of "Talents en court," individual meetings between project leaders and professionals at Montpellier, and various round table discussions, including one on young Lebanese cinema, in particular.
Projects vying for the Development Aid Scholarship include:
Backstage - Afef Ben Mahmoud (Morocco/Tunisia/France/Sweden)
Production: Khalil Benkirane for Lycia Productions
Aida, a member of a Tunisian dance troupe, provokes Hedi onstage, who injures her, triggering a series of events that take place during a long night in a forest, on the way to the doctor in the next village in an attempt to save their very important last show.
Costa Brava Liban - Mounia Akl (Lebanon)
Production: Myriam Sassine and Georges Schoucair for Abbot Productions
Lebanon 2028, the Badris live away from the pollution, so when the government decides to build a landfill right outside their house, they're devastated. As Lebanon's trash piles up on their doorstep, hidden tensions in the family begin to bubble to the surface.
De Facto - Rakan Mayasi (Palestine/Lebanon)
Production: Koussay Hamzeh for The Groundglass235
De Facto follows the three stages of water as it acts as a curse on the lives of three women who are facing human trafficking and displacement in a politically complex Levant: one must travel through the tunnel leading to Gaza, another has to flee from a refugee camp in Lebanon and the last one must swim all the way to Greece.
Domina Maris - Silvia Perra (Italy/France)
Production: Luca Cabriolu for Ombre Rosse Film Production and Sandra da Fonseca for Blue Monday Productions
12-year-old Enea lives on a farm in Southern Sardinia. The opening of Domina Maris, an illegal hotel that welcomes tourists and immigrants, triggers big changes in her daily routine. The situation degenerates when Enea meets a tourist from the hotel, who reminds her of her mother.
Mediterranean Fever - Maha Haj (Palestine/France)
Production: Baher Agbariya for Majdal Films
A Palestinian man from Haifa (40) who is trying to be a writer is unhappily married with children and deeply depressed. He befriends his neighbour and gradually convinces him to assist him commit suicide and make it look natural.
Lola - Laure Pradal (France)
9-year-old Lola moves with her mother at the beginning of the summer to a village in the south to live on her grandmother's great vineyard Mas. Grandmother, mother and granddaughter coexist in uncertain times and Lola keeps a dark secret, every Wednesday she goes to the remand centre to visit her father who was recently incarcerated.
Love-45 - Rana Kazkaz and Anas Khalaf (France/Lebanon)
Production: Rachel Amat Elbaz for Elemiah
Walid, a Lebanese man, still traumatised by the Syrian missile attack that killed his parents and destroyed his childhood dream of becoming a professional tennis player, finds new hope for life when he meets a Syrian refugee boy who is a tennis prodigy.
Néné - Mariam Bakacho Khatchvani (Georgia)
Production: Vladimer Kacharava for 20 Steps Productions
When Nene introduces her boyfriend Tedo to her family and he asks for her hand in marriage, Tedo soon finds himself in a quarrel between Nene's brother and plain clothes policemen. He finds himself at the police station despite being innocent. Nene must fight for justice and prove the truth...
Le Retour des gerboises - Amira Géhanne Khalfallah (Algeria)
Production: Jaber Debzi for Prolégomènes
2000, four decades after the explosion of the first French nuclear bomb Gerboise Bleue, Hakim, a young doctor, moves to a village for blind people in the heart of the Algerian Sahara.
Sang et Miel - Mohamed Siam (Egypt/Morocco/France)
Production: Guillaume De Seille for Arizona Productions
In Cairo in 2011, just before the revolution that ended 30 years of an authoritarian state, a policemen suffering from post-traumatic stress has to look after the 12-year-old daughter of an officer who's been kidnapped. Despite the obvious differences in social background, age and gender, together they experience the stages of a revolution, like two outsiders, changing their lives forever.
Sème le vent - Danilo Caputo (Italy/France/Greece)
Production: Marianne Dumoulin and Jacques Bidou for JBA Production
Raised by a grandmother who people in the village thought was a witch, Nica (21) is a determined and unusual young woman, more comfortable around trees and animals. Back from Taranto after three years studying agronomy, she finds her city damaged, her mother resigned, and her father bogged down by gambling debts. Following a series of violent intimidations, Nica discovers that her father has decided to sell her grandmother’s farm and vineyard. But she cannot accept this and resolves to revive the land and to protect the farm that houses a crypt with supernatural powers. Under the influence of a mysterious magpie, she rebels against her father to defend this sacred place, this bridge between the occult and the future, at all costs.
Suzanne & Osmane - Danielle Arbid (France/Germany/Lebanon)
Production: David Thion for Les Films Pelléas
Suzanne, a 65-year-old widow, meets Osmane on a rainy night in Beirut. He is a young, black, Sudanese, immigrant worker without ID documents. She is white, Lebanese and lost in her well-ordered life... They immediately fall in love.
Les Tempêtes - Dania Reymond-Boughenou (France/Algeria)
Production: Annabelle Bouzom for Les Films de l’autre cougar
Strange yellow sand storms fall on Algiers neighbourhoods. Samir, a disillusioned journalist, has been sent to cover the phenomenon. Yacine, his nephew can hear the dead during stormy nights and is scared of going crazy. Thanks to a ghost's advice, he tells Samir to reconnect with Fadjar, one of Samir's past loves. But Fadjar seems too tired to overcome her loneliness. One by one, they will all have to overcome their injuries.
Une femme - Mohamed Ismail Louati (Tunisia/France)
Production: Justin Pechberty for Les Valseurs
A woman called Myriam, an orphan and sex worker, acts as an intersecting narrative of solitude that meets, desires and is then ripped apart. Social and emotional stringencies arise between beings, causing violence to erupt where it’s least expected.
(Translated from French)
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