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PRODUCTION France / Brazil

Maneki Films pinning its hopes on João Paulo Miranda Maria’s Memory House

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- The French outfit has lofty expectations for the feature debut by the Brazilian filmmaker, whose short films made a splash at Cannes and Venice; the movie is currently being filmed

Maneki Films pinning its hopes on João Paulo Miranda Maria’s Memory House
Director João Paulo Miranda Maria

One of European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move in 2017, Didar Domehri, the head of Paris-based production outfit Maneki Films, is continuing his sterling work scouting out and supporting international talents with Memory House (La Casa de Antiguidades), the feature debut by Brazil’s João Paulo Miranda Maria, principal photography for which has been ongoing since 15 July.

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Having made a huge splash with his short films – as he was selected at Cannes, in the 2015 Critics’ Week, with Command Action, then in the Official Competition in 2016 (snagging a Special Mention into the bargain) with The Girl Who Danced With the Devil, before taking part in the Venice Film Festival in 2017 with Meninas Fomicida – the director was supported in the development of his feature debut by the Next Step 2015 programme run by the Cannes Critics’ Week (in conjunction with the TorinoFilmLab and the Moulin d'Andé-CÉCI), the Cannes Film Festival’s Cinéfondation Residence in Paris and the Paris Coproduction Village (organised by the Les Arcs Film Festival in 2017, as an integral part of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival).

The cast of Memory House includes Brazil’s Antonio Pitanga (an iconic actor from the Cinema Novo movement), his fellow countrywoman Ana Flavia Cavalcanti (Body Electric) and Belgium’s Sam Louwyck (who gave strong performances in movies such as Bullhead [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bart Van Langendonck
interview: Michaël R. Roskam
film profile
]
, The Wonders [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
interview: Tiziana Soudani
film profile
]
Keeper [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
interview: Guillaume Senez ­
interview: Kacey Mottet Klein
film profile
]
and The Fifth Season [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Woodworth
film profile
]
).

The story, written by João Paulo Miranda Maria, revolves around Cristovam, a native from the Brazilian hinterland, who works in a milk factory in a prosperous former Austrian colony in Brazil. He feels lonely and ostracised because of cultural and ethnic differences. One day, he discovers an abandoned house filled with objects that remind him of his origins. He slowly settles in this house. Curiously, more objects start to appear without explanation, as if the place were “alive”. Seeing no other way to stand the present, he turns into a man-animal. Emptied of his conscience, deprived of social contact and disconnected from his humanity, he regains his freedom by transforming into a half-man, half-beef creature.

Produced by Maneki Films together with Brazil’s Bossa Nova, Memory House has secured backing from the CNC’s World Cinema Support, the Hubert Bals Fund Europe and the FSA (Fundo Setorial do Audiovisual). The cinematography has been entrusted to Benjamín Echazarreta (A Fantastic Woman [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and Gloria [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

As a reminder, Maneki Films currently has A Winter’s Tale by Claus Drexel (see the news) in post-production and is preparing Petite fleur by Argentina’s Santiago Mitre, who the Paris-based company supported for his first two features (Paulina [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which scooped the Grand Prix in the Cannes Critics’ Week in 2015, and The Summit [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Santiago Mitre
film profile
]
, which was unveiled on the Croisette in 2017, in Un Certain Regard). Maneki’s filmography also includes titles such as Return to Ithaca [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laurent Cantet
film profile
]
by Laurent Cantet, 11 Flowers [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Wang Xiaoshuai, White Elephant [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Pablo Trapero, Dégradé [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Palestine’s Arab and Tarzan Nasser, and the first two features by Eva Husson: Girls of the Sun [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eva Husson
film profile
]
and Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story) [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eva Husson
film profile
]
.

(Translated from French)

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