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CANNES 2022 Marché du Film

Pacifiction spearheads Films Boutique’s Cannes slate

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- The self-described “world sales agent with a heart” has four films on its docket at this year’s edition of Cannes, including an Albert Serra epic

Pacifiction spearheads Films Boutique’s Cannes slate
Pacifiction by Albert Serra

Films Boutique, the Berlin-based international sales company, will arrive at the Cannes Film Festival (17-28 May) this year with four titles to showcase, bringing forth its distinctive focus on new as well as established talents.

In competition, it will represent Albert Serra’s Pacifiction, a title announced after the majority of the Official Selection had been revealed at Thierry Frémaux and Pierre Lescure’s press conference. Benoît Magimel stars as De Roller, a debonair French government official stationed on the Polynesian island of Tahiti. Here, his role brings him to navigate the high-end “establishment” as well as shady venues where he mingles with the locals. Especially since a persistent rumour has been going around: the sighting of a submarine whose ghostly presence could herald the return of French nuclear testing. Jean-Christophe Simon, founding partner of Films Boutique, made clear the distinct nature of Pacifiction compared to Serra’s other work: speaking to Variety, he called it “a more accessible film in terms of storytelling than Serra’s previous movies – a riveting political thriller and espionage story”, and also “visually impressive”. It follows his previous Official Selection premieres Last Days of Louis XIV [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Albert Serra
film profile
]
(2016) and Liberté [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(2019).

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Lined up for Un Certain Regard, the company also has The Blue Caftan, Maryam Touzani’s follow-up to her acclaimed Adam [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from 2019. Featuring Lubna Azabal (Incendies [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Saleh Bakri (Costa Brava, Lebanon [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), the film follows Mina and Halim, a married couple running a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. In order to keep up with the demand, they hire Youssef, a talented apprentice whom Bakri’s character takes under his wing, and begins mentoring in the art of embroidery and tailoring. Slowly, Mina realises how much her husband is moved by the presence of the young man.

Also in Un Certain Regard is Domingo and the Mist, the second feature by Costa Rican filmmaker Ariel Escalante Meza. Up in the tropical mountains of Costa Rica, widower Domingo owns a piece of land being eyed by developers to build a new highway. When they send in thugs to intimidate the community, the neighbours leave one by one, but Domingo refuses to give in, especially as the land harbours a special and mystical secret. Films Boutique’s CEO, Gabor Greiner, called the film a “masterfully directed and beautifully shot feature about loss, redemption and justice, and the fight of a man to stand up and defend his property”, and added, “No wonder it already created an early buzz among festival programmers.”

Last but very much not least, Films Boutique also has Will-o’-the-Wisp in the Directors’ Fortnight, the new work from venerated Portuguese auteur João Pedro Rodrigues. Clocking in at a succinct 67 minutes, the “daring” film revolves around the youthful memories of a dying Portuguese aristocrat, who dreamed of becoming a firefighter and unexpectedly fell in love with his instructor. Musical and fantasy sequences are also promised. Rodrigues broke out in the 2000s with Phantom [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, heralding a new wave of Portuguese art cinema, and premiered The Ornithologist [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: João Pedro Rodrigues
film profile
]
, his last narrative feature to date, at Locarno in 2016.

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