French sellers add hotly anticipated films to their Berlin line-ups
by Fabien Lemercier
- BERLIN 2019: Orange Studio, Luxbox, Memento, Indie Sales, Gaumont and TF1 Studio are making the most of the European Film Market to promote the latest films in their line-ups
Orange Studio stands out in particular with the launch of pre-sales on Wasp Network by Olivier Assayas, with filming imminent and an A-list cast starring the Spanish actress Penélope Cruz, the Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez (Carlos [+see also:
film profile]), the Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal and the Brazilian actor Wagner Moura (Pablo Escobar in Narcos). Written by the director and based on the book The Last Soldiers of the Cold War: The Story of the Cuban Five by Fernando Morais, the screenplay focuses on Cuban spies who find themselves embroiled in a terrorist network in Florida in the 1990s. The feature film was produced by the French outfit CG Cinéma and the Brazilian company RT Pictures, and was co-produced by the Spanish company Nostromo. Orange Studio has also acquired the international rights to Paradise Drifters, the first feature, currently in post-production, by the Dutch director Mees Peijnenburg, developed at Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation residence.
Luxbox’s line-up includes three new films in post-production : The Orphanage by Shahrbanoo Sadat (discovered with Wolf and Sheep [+see also:
interview: Shahrbanoo Sadat
film profile] at the Directors’ Fortnight in 2016), which was produced by the Danish outfit Adomeit Film and the French outfit La Fabrica Nocturna, as well as two first features: the Italian-Polish film Sole by Carlos Sironi (read the article) and Song Without a Name by the Peruvian director Melina León.
Memento Films International has added Persian Lessons by the Russian-American director Vadim Perelman to its line-up, starring Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (BPM (Beats Per Minute) [+see also:
interview: Arnaud Valois
interview: Robin Campillo
film profile]) and the German actor Lars Eidinger in the roles of a prisoner and the head of an extermination camp in 1942. Produced by the Russian company Hype Film with the German outfits LM Media and One Two Films, the feature is currently in post-production.
Indie Sales is pinning its hopes on Our Lady of the Nile by the French-Afghani director Atiq Rahimi (The Patience Stone [+see also:
film profile], Earth and Ashes). The film, which is currently in post-production and was adapted from the eponymous novel by Scholastique Mukasonga, plunges viewers into Rwanda in 1973. At the prestigious Notre-Dame du Nil catholic school, nestled on a hill, young Rwandan girls are studying to join the country’s elite circles. While aiming to get their diplomas, the girls share a dorm, as well as various hopes and dreams and teenage struggles. But elsewhere in the country, and in the school, deep antagonisms are beginning to bubble at the surface, threatening to change the destinies of these young girls and their country forever. Produced by Les Films du Tambour and Chapter 2, the feature film was co-produced by Swoon Productions, France 2 Cinéma and Belga Productions.
Gaumont launched pre-sales on The Power of Love starring Valérie Lemercier, with filming due to commence in March. The film focuses on the life of the Canadian singer, Céline Dion and was produced by Rectangle Productions, Quad and Caramel Films (Canada).
Finally, TF1 Studio has added a promising comedy to its line-up: The Lion by Ludovic Colbeau-Justin, starring the very popular Dany Boon (Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
film profile]) alongside Philippe Katerine (hilarious in Sink or Swim [+see also:
film profile]) in a film about a psychiatric institute, where a patient pretends that he is a spy to his therapist, a statement that soon turns out to be true. Produced by Monkey Pack Films, shooting on the feature is due to start imminently.
(Translated from French)
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