Les Films d’Ici throw their weight behind animated film Bombay Rose
by Fabien Lemercier
- The French firm is a partner in Indian director Gitanjali Rao’s first feature film, which is set to world-premiere this summer
From Waltz With Bashir [+see also:
film profile] (in competition in Cannes 2008 and Oscar-nominated in the category of Best Foreign Language Film in 2009) to Funan [+see also:
interview: Denis Do
film profile] (the winner of Annecy’s Best Film Cristal in 2018), the Parisian production company Les Films d’Ici has already proven that it has just as good a nose for animated works as it does for documentaries (Gianfranco Rosi’s works in particular) and fiction (Arnaud des Pallières’ full-length titles, among others). So its co-production, Bombay Rose, the first feature film by the Indian director Gitanjali Rao, is arousing a great deal of interest, further piqued by rumours that the film is set to world-premiere in a parallel section of one of the summer’s big international festivals.
Having made a name for herself with her short films, especially Printed Rainbow (awarded three prizes at Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 2006 and upwards of thirty worldwide) and True Love Story (which had its international premiere in competition in the very same Croisette-based selection in 2014), Gitanjali Rao participated in the first edition of Cannes Critics’ Week’s Next Step programme - an initiative aimed at helping young filmmakers make the leap from short films to full-length works – to develop Bombay Rose.
Written by the direct herself, Bombay Rose interweaves several stories of impossible love. The plot revolves around Kamala, a young dancer in a club who has escaped from a child marriage and who now lives in the chaotic streets of Bombay (Mumbai). But she must choose between fighting for the economic survival of her family or fully committing to the love she feels for Salim, a boy from Kashmir … It’s a romance which Gitanjali Rao has developed on a visual level by mixing painting with animation, a style which she specialises in and which allows her to blend together the documentary-like aspects of the film and the very harsh environment in which it is set, with the movie’s poetic atmosphere, further elevated by the musical score and unmistakably Bollywoodian flavours.
Headed up by Cinestaan International (based in Mumbai, London and Los Angeles, and who are also handling sales of the feature film), Bombay Rose was co-produced by Les Films d’Ici (Serge Lalou and Charlotte Uzu), by the British outfit Goldfinch Entertainment and by Qatar (Doha Film Institute), with the notable support of the CNC’s Aide aux Cinémas du Monde fund. The animation work itself was carried out by PaperBoat Design Studios.
In terms of animated titles, Les Films d'Ici are currently producing La Sirène by Sepideh Farsi (read our article). They recently walked away with the Gan Foundation Award for Distribution at the 43rd Annecy International Animated Film Festival for Aurel’s Josep and are also involved in Brazilian director Rogério Nunes’ project, Heart of Darkness, which is set to enter into production soon.
Of note among their fiction films, meanwhile, is Ricordi? [+see also:
interview: Valerio Mieli
film profile] by Italy’s Valerio Mieli (discovered during last year’s Venice Days), which is co-produced by Les Films d’Ici and is set to be released in French cinemas on 31 July by Le Pacte.
(Translated from French)
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