Totem Films takes nine titles to Cannes Online
- The French firm will notably be selling Official Selection Label title Gagarin by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh and Stambul Garden by Germany’s Ilker Çatak
One year after its official launch on the Croisette, the international French sales agent Totem Films, steered by Agathe Valentin, Laure Parleani and Bérénice Vincent, will be negotiating on behalf of nine titles at the Cannes Film Festival’s Online Marché du Film (running 22 - 26 June). Stealing focus among these films is Gagarin [+see also:
film profile], the first feature by the French duo Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh, which has been awarded the Cannes 73 Official Selection Label.
Starring Alséni Bathily, Lyna Khoudri, Jamil McCraven, Finnegan Oldfield, Farida Rahouadj and also Denis Lavant, the film follows in the footsteps of 16-year-old Youri who has grown up in Gagarin, a vast red-brick housing project on the outskirts of Paris (Ivry-sur-Seine) where he dreams of becoming an astronaut. When he learns of plans to demolish Gargarin Towers, Youri joins the resistance. With the help of Diana, Houssam and others living on the estate, he embarks upon a mission to save his home, which has become his very own “spaceship”… Production is steered by Haut et Court, who will also be distributing the film in French cinemas.
Joining the Totem line-up and the list of market screenings is Stambul Garden (read our article) by German director Ilker Çatak (the winner of a 2015 Student Oscar Academy Award for his short film Fidelity and of the Bronze Lola at the German Film Awards 2020 – having also received four additional nominations – for I Was, I Am, I Will Be). Distinguishing themselves in the cast of this Flare Film production are Emil von Schönfels and Mekyas Mulugeta in the roles of Janik and Samuel, two best friends making the most of their time at high school. Their worlds, however, are altogether different: Janik’s parents do everything by the book, while Samuel is the product of a broken home. Samuel looks for order while Janik seeks chaos. But one careless moment will call the two friends’ close bond into question. As they set off on the trip to Istanbul that they’ve been planning for so long, the boys try to save their friendship, enjoy their freedom and try out a new life…
Totem Films will also be proposing market screenings of the Finnish fiction anthology Force of Habit (which takes the form of a film and a series, and follows 11 women faced with sexual inequality in all its forms), the German production Kiss Me Before It Blows Up (the first feature film by Shirel Peleg, a young Israeli director living in Berlin) and Zeina Durra’s Luxor [+see also:
interview: Zeina Durra
film profile] (a British co-production discovered in the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic competition and starring English actress Andrea Riseborough in the lead role).
Finally, shining bright in the presales department are four very promising works which are currently in post-production: Compartment No 6 by Finland’s Juho Kuosmanen (whose first feature The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki [+see also:
interview: Juho Kuosmanen
film profile] scooped the Un Certain Regard trophy in Cannes 2016), which will whisk us away aboard a train travelling from Moscow to Murmansk in the company of two diametrically opposed characters; Moneyboys by Chinese director C.B Yi (produced by Austrian firm KPG and French group Zorba); the animated work My Sunny Maad by Michaela Pavlatova, which revolves around a young Czech woman who follows an Afghan man to Kabul out of love, and Softie by France’s Samuel Theis (news).
(Translated from French)
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