Michèle Jacob kicks off filming on her first feature Les Enfants perdus
- Acclaimed for her short film July 96, the Belgian filmmaker commenced shooting on her first fiction feature this week
Monday 1 August saw filming begin on Michèle Jacob’s first fiction feature Les Enfants perdus. Having previously turned heads with her short film July 96 (awarded the Screenplay Prize at last year’s Le Court En Dit Long Festival) and having also developed the Arcanes series for RBTF, the Belgian director, formerly of IAD, is venturing into the world of feature films by way of this first offering, a psychological horror film which speaks to the folklore tale just as much as the slasher movie.
"To die will be an awfully big adventure", claimed Peter Pan. This might not be a million miles away from the thinking of the Lost Children who appear in this debut film. Ten-year-old Audrey, her sister and her two brothers are gearing up to spend the holidays in a remote house in the forest. When they realise their father has disappeared, they organise themselves in a bid to survive and try to find a way back home. But the forest prevents them from leaving and the house goes after Audrey. In order to save her siblings, Audrey must face up to her nightmares and understand their meaning.
As the film’s synopsis implies, the movie is carried by a group of children. Audrey is played by the director’s daughter Iris Mirzabekiantz in her first big role, while her sister will be played by her real-life sibling Liocha Mirzabekiantz, whom we saw leading the cast of the filmmaker’s previous work July 96. The brothers, for their part, will be played by Louis Magis and Lohen Van Houtte (glimpsed in the short films Walk with Kings by Guillaume Senez, and Nuclear Family by Faustine Crespy).
In respect of photography, the director is reuniting with her usual collaborator Nastasja Sternes, who previously signed her name to the wonderful cinematography in July 96, and whose name also appears in the credits of Véronique Jadin’s Employee of the Month [+see also:
Les Enfants perdus is produced by Sebastian Schelenz on behalf of Velvet Films, who have notably just co-produced Maryam Touzani’s The Blue Caftan [+see also:
film profile] - which was presented in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section - and who also produced the aforementioned Employee of the Month - unveiled this summer in Tribeca and then Fantasia - which, much like Les Enfants perdus, is one of several films to win lightweight production aid courtesy of the Wallonia Brussels Federation Film and Audiovisual Centre. This initiative has helped filmmakers setting out in the world of feature films to get a much-needed foot in the door. The movies in question notably include Madly in Life [+see also:
interview: Raphaël Balboni & Ann Sirot
film profile] by Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni, which scooped seven Magrittes in February, including Best Film; Mother Schmuckers [+see also:
interview: Harpo and Lenny Guit
film profile] by the Guit brothers, which was selected in Sundance, and Aya [+see also:
interview: Simon Coulibaly Gillard
film profile] by Simon Coulibaly Gillard, which screened in Cannes’ ACID line-up in 2021.
(Translated from French)
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