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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France

Arte France Cinéma supports Ursula Meier’s La Ligne

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- New projects by Claire Denis and Asghar Farhadi, the first fiction feature by Alice Diop and a documentary by Régis Sauder will also be co-produced by the cinema branch of the Franco-German channel

Arte France Cinéma supports Ursula Meier’s La Ligne
Director Ursula Meier

The second selection committee for 2020 of Arte France Cinéma (headed by Olivier Père) has chosen to engage in co-production and in pre-buying on five projects. Standing out among them is La Ligne, which will be the third fiction feature from Franco-Swiss director Ursula Meier following Home [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kacey Mottet Klein
interview: Thierry Spicher
interview: Ursula Meier
film profile
]
(Critics’ Week in Cannes in 2008) and Sister [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kacey Mottet Klein
interview: Ursula Meier
film profile
]
(Silver Bear special prize winner at the 2012 Berlinale). For the record, the filmmaker also presented in the Panorama section of the 2018 Berlinale the TV fiction Shock Waves – Diary of My Mind [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

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Written by Ursula Meier together with Stéphanie Blanchoud (who will also be playing the lead role) in collaboration with Antoine Jaccoud and with the participation of Robin Campillo and Nathalie Najem, the script of La Ligne centres on 35-year-old Margaret, charged with a three-month restraining order for having hit her mother. But the 200 meters that now separate her from her home only exacerbate her desire to come closer to her family… The film’s cast will include Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and India Hair. Production is handled by Swiss company Bandita Films with Parisian company Les Films de Pierre and Belgian company Films du Fleuve (the Dardenne brothers’ company). It is worth noting that the project already benefits from an advance on receipts from the CNC.

Arte France Cinéma will also support Claire DenisThe Stars at Noon, which Wild Bunch has already begun pre-selling in February at the EFM of the Berlinale (read the news). The director has written the script with Léa Mysius, freely adapting the eponymous American novel from Denis Johnson. The story centres on the passionate relationship between a young American journalist working in a troubled country in central America, between corruption, political intrigue and disastrous relationships, and an English businessman watched by the CIA. The cast should include Robert Pattinson (already heading the cast in Denis’ previous film High Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claire Denis
film profile
]
) and Margaret Qualley, with production handled by Curiosa Films.

A Hero, from Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, has also been selected by Arte France Cinéma. The filmmaker will return to his country for another analysis of Iranian society, which should have the airs of a psychological thriller and will be shot in Chiraz with local, little-known actors. The director will also be handling production together with his usual collaborator Alexandre Mallet-Guy (Memento Films Production).

A fiction feature debut also figures in this selection: Saint-Omer from Alice Diop (winner of the Best Short Film César award in 2017 with Vers la tendresse and well received with the documentaries La Mort de Danton and La Permanence). Co-written by the director together with Marie Ndiaye and Amrita David, the script centres on Rama, a young writer who is about to become a mother. For her work on her novel, she attends, fascinated, the trial of a mother who killed her own 15-month-old daughter. This trial will be for the writer the occasion to question her own ambivalence regarding maternal bonds…  Inspired by a dramatic true story, this story will see Alice Diop continue her exploration of the boundaries between fiction and reality, diving into taboos, hidden depths and mysteries, all the while revealing all that is left unsaid by the media treatment of this story: the story of the trial of a black woman, unsettlingly ambiguous and with a complexity that runs against a French attitude sometimes full of cliches about some of its communities… Production is handled by SRAB Films.

Finally, it is worth pointing out that ARTE France Cinéma and Unité Société et Culture d’Arte France have decided to co-produce the documentary feature film En nous by Régis Sauder. Ten years after Nous, Princesses de Clèves, the director will meet up again with Abou, Morgane, Laura, Cadiatou, Jacques, Armelle and their former French teacher from the Denis Diderot high-school in the northern suburbs of Marseille. What have they become? What have they done with their anger? What have they retained from school? Production is handled by Shellac Sud.

For the record, Arte France Cinéma is also supporting upcoming films from Mia Hansen-Løve, Leos Carax, Alain Guiraudie, Mathieu Amalric, Miguel Gomes, Joachim Trier, Nadav Lapid, Abderrahmane Sissako, Lisandro Alonso, Jonas Carpignano, Kirill Serebrennikov, Lav Diaz, Tarik Saleh, Albert Serra, Julia Ducournau, Thierry de Peretti, Arthur Harari, Leyla Bouzid, Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet, Aurélia Georges, Vincent Le Port, Just Philippot, Bruno Podalydès, Thomas Balmès, Hafsia Herzi, Chloé Mazlo, Dinara Droukarova, Chen Bo Yilin, Dror Moreh and the duo Rana Kazkaz - Anas Khalaf, as well as animated films from Florence Miailhe and Pierre Földes.

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(Translated from French)

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