Pyramide to the power of 17 at Venice and Toronto
by Fabien Lemercier
- The French sales agent’s slate includes two films being showcased at Venice, four at Toronto, six titles in post-production and an upcoming documentary by Marianne Khoury
It looks as though French international sales agent Pyramide International (managed by Eric Lagesse) will be kept extremely busy at the 76th Venice Film Festival (which kicks off today, Wednesday 28 August, and will wrap on 7 September) and the 44th Toronto Film Festival (5-15 September), as it boasts a jam-packed line-up containing 17 features.
At Venice, the team headed up by Agathe Mauruc will be negotiating deals for Back Home [+see also:
film profile] by France’s Jessica Palud (starring Niels Schneider, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Patrick d’Assumçao), which will be world-premiered in the official selection, in the Orizzonti section.
Meanwhile, You Will Die at 20 [+see also:
interview: Amjad Abu Alala
film profile] by Sudan’s Amjad Abu Alala will be unveiled on the Lido, in the Giornate degli Autori, before being screened at Toronto, in the Contemporary World Cinema programme. This feature-length fiction debut by the African director was produced by France’s Andolfi (Arnaud Dommerc), Egypt’s Transit Films, Norway’s Duofilm and Germany’s Die Gesselschaft, with Sudan’s Station Film and Egypt’s Film Clinic on board as co-producers. The movie was backed by the CNC’s World Cinema Support. The plot unfolds in modern-day Sudan, in the province of Aljazira. When Muzamil was born, a prophecy by the holy man of the village predicted that he would die when he turned 20 years old. Muzamil's father cannot stand the pressure of this curse and leaves the family home. Sakina, as a single mother, raises her son and overprotects him. One day, Muzamil turns 19...
At Toronto, Pyramide will also have high hopes for the world premiere of Made in Bangladesh by Rubayat Hossain, which has been selected for the Contemporary World Cinema programme. The film, written by the Bangladeshi director (who turned heads with Meherjaan and Under Construction) and France’s Philippe Barrière, revolves around 23-year-old Shimu, who works in a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Faced with difficult conditions at work, she decides to start a union with her co-workers. Despite threats from the management and the disapproval of her husband, Shimu is determined to go on. Together, the women must fight and find a way. The feature, which won the Arte Prize at Open Doors in Locarno in 2015, was produced by Paris-based outfit Les Films de l’Après-Midi (François d’Artemare) together with Bangladesh (Khona Talkies), and was co-produced by Portugal (Midas Filmes) and Denmark (Beofilm), with backing from the CNC’s World Cinema Support, among other sources.
Sales will be continuing for two Pyramide-handled films that were first revealed at Cannes and which will also get an airing at Toronto: Fire Will Come [+see also:
interview: Óliver Laxe
film profile] by French-Spanish filmmaker Oliver Laxe (Un Certain Regard Jury Prize), which will be presented in the Wavelengths section; and The Cordillera of Dreams [+see also:
film profile] by Chile’s Patricio Guzmán (Golden Eye for Best Documentary on the Croisette), which has been selected for TIFF Docs. Interestingly, both of these titles will also be screened at the 67th San Sebastián Film Festival (20-28 September).
At Toronto, Pyramide will be organising a private screening of The Dazzled by Sarah Succo (see the article), and will be topping off sales for Camille [+see also:
film profile] by Boris Lojkine (Audience Award in Locarno’s Piazza Grande), Our Mothers [+see also:
interview: Cesar Diaz
film profile] by César Diaz (Caméra d’Or at Cannes, Belgium’s candidate for the 2020 Oscar for Best International Feature Film and also set to get an airing at San Sebastián), The Holy Family [+see also:
film profile] by Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (also unveiled at Locarno), and the documentary Kongo [+see also:
film profile] by Hadrien La Vapeur and Corto Vaclav (which was premiered as part of the ACID programme at Cannes).
Also featuring on the firm’s line-up are a number of features in post-production: Simple Passion by Danielle Arbid (see the article – toplined by Laetitia Dosch and due to be pre-sold based on a promo reel), Perfumes by Grégory Magne (see the article – with Emmanuelle Devos in the lead role), Une autre que moi by Marion Lainé (see the article – starring Sandrine Bonnaire in the lead), the French production Yalda - A Night For Forgiveness by Iran’s Massoud Bakhshi and L’état sauvage by David Perrault (see the article – with Kevin Janssens and Alice Isaaz among the cast). Pyramide is also handling the adoption documentary C’est toi que j’attendais by Stéphanie Pillonca, which is currently being filmed.
Last but not least, Pyramide International has added a new title to its slate: the doc Let’s Talk by Egypt’s Marianne Khoury, in which a mother and her daughter explore the lives of four generations of women from their family, an Egyptian family from the Levant where life and cinema have been closely intertwined – and still are. The movie portrays a meeting of minds involving family archives, where reality and fiction and the autobiographical films of Youssef Chahine mingle. From Alexandria to Cairo, passing through Paris and Havana, an intimate and visceral narrative unfurls, in which mother and daughter cross space and time to trace destinies and question their own emotions.
(Translated from French)
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