Les Arcs' Industry Village sees a great turnout
by Fabien Lemercier
- With 500 participants, projects in high demand and numerous international sellers, Les Arcs Film Festival's industry section goes from strength to strength
"For the first time ever, we were completely full by early November. We limit our intake to 500 professionals in order to preserve human contact and a sense of conviviality, which we think is very important." For Jérémy Zelnik, the man behind the professional component of the 10th Les Arcs Film Festival, the Industry Village’s success (which took place from 15 to 18 December) is linked to the increasing number of international sellers making the trip to the alpine resort, attracted by the high level of Work in Progress and Coproduction Village projects. This year welcomed 28 international sales companies, including Wild Bunch (Vincent Maraval), Charades (Carole Baraton and Yohann Comte), Playtime (François Yon), mk2 Films (Juliette Schramek), Coproduction Office (Philippe Bober), Beta Cinema, and Protagonist Pictures. As well as numerous distributors and platforms, with the likes of Funa Maduka, Netflixproduction and international film acquisitions director, in attendance. Festival representatives were also not lacking, with representatives from Cannes Critics' Week, the Directors' Fortnight, Locarno, Berlin, Karlovy Vary, ACID and Venice's Giornate degli Autori and Orrizonti programmes making an appearance.
Enthusiasm was evident right from the get-go at the Work in Progress morning, with sellers requesting a large number of meetings with the producers and directors of the 15 films presented. One film in particular was by far the most sought-after with 20 meetings: System Crasher by the German Nora Fingscheidt (which was also later awarded by the Work in Progress jury - read the news), followed by Atlas by the Swiss director Niccolò Castelli, And Then We Danced by the Swedish director Levan Akin andThe Disciple by the Slovakian director Ivan Ostrochovský. On the Coproduction Village side of things, as Anna Ciennik, the Industry Village coordinator, pointed out, "16 of the 20 projects received more requests for meetings than the 27 slots available per project, but we make organisation as easy as possible and arrange informal meetings if necessary." The most requested projects in the section were Each of Us (produced by Alhena Production) by the trio composed of the German director Anne Zohra Berrached and the Spanish directors Carla Simón and Meritxell Colell, whose plot takes place in Ravensbrück in the winter of 1945, in the only women-only extermination camp. Following close behind was Pantylover(dot)com by the Swede Niclas Larsson (produced by MostFilm), which sees the wife of a couple in debt begin to successfully sell her used underwear online, an idea initially accepted by her husband, who then doesn't take long to change his mind... Also very popular was Other People by the Polish director Aleksandra Terpinska (produced by Madants and winner of the ArteKino Festival Award – read the news). Also of note were the four genre film projects (including three first features): I Feel Blood bythe British director Dean Puckett (produced by Grasp The Nettle Films), Black Dog by the French director Marylise Dumont (produced by Shellac), The Delicate Balancer of Terror by the Polish director Jagoda Szelc (produced by Nur) and Woken by the Irish director Alan Friel (produced by Fantastic Films).
The Industry Village organised a focus this year on Poland (news), which more than met expectations, with all projects strongly sought-after and two awards received, one previously mentioned, which was awarded to Other People, and a Talent Village special mention, which went to Episode by Dawid Bodzak.
The brand new Talent Village event also kept its promises, with Thomas Vinterberg taking his role as sponsor of the eight young filmmakers selected by the Arcs Film Festival team very seriously, helping them to kick start their first feature projects – which are still under development – by offering them advice from experienced professionals in the image, music, set and costume design sectors, as well as meetings with producers, distributors and sellers at a later date. "We will closely follow the development of these projects, which we hope to see at Work In Progress in a few years’ time," concluded Jérémy Zelnik, who also highlighted the success of the Music Village, with about fifty participating professionals, including high-level European musical supervisors such as the Danish Mikkel Maltha, who worked for Zentropa for around twenty years.
(Translated from French)
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