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LOCARNO 2022 Locarno Pro

REPORT: Alliance 4 Development @ Locarno Pro 2022

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- We take a closer look at four projects showcased by Locarno Pro’s co-development programme for films from Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland

REPORT: Alliance 4 Development @ Locarno Pro 2022
(© Locarno Film Festival / Ti-Press / Samuel Golay)

Cineuropa gained access to four interesting projects showcased by Alliance4Development (A4D), Locarno Pro’s co-development programme for films from Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland.

During the three-day event unspooling from 5-7 August, the delegates of the 11 selected projects were given the opportunity to receive feedback from international experts on their presentations, to partake in one-on-one meetings with potential partners, and attend panels and networking events.

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A Song That Slays Mo Scarpelli (Italy/USA)
Produced by Luigi Chimienti and Alessandro Amato for Italy’s dispàrte and co-produced by writer-director Mo Scarpelli (El Father Plays Himself [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) for US-based Rake Films, A Song That Slays is a drama set in rural Kenya. It follows 15-year-old girl Chesang, who has been arranged to marry a much older man, for cattle dowry her nomadic family desperately needs. She asks the yomöt, the god of the wind — which everyone fears, but with whom she has a secret friendship — what she can do to escape. It tells her to find a pink flower which will reveal her destiny. Chesang’s search is deterred by violence and the wrath of her community as they suspect her power and connection with the yomöt. When Chesang finally finds the flower, she discovers it is poison, for her to use on whomever she chooses. Commenting on the project’s participation to Locarno Pro, Scarpelli told Cineuropa: “We came to Locarno to meet potential European co-producers as we continue developing the film, and came out of our three days at A4D with strong co-production company options but also a warm solidarity from others on the project, and plenty of creative ideas for non-traditional co-production structures. This film is being made to explore the fear, chaos and power that lies within a girl. It’s my first fiction feature after making mostly-non-fiction films because magical realism is the most honest way to portray this particular secret inside of us.”

MoleculesVero Cratzborn (France)
To save her sister from a degenerative disease, Diane takes part in the first clinical trials of an experimental molecule. In the confines of the laboratory, she finally finds a bubble of freedom. But it could be dangerous to cut the cord with her twin. This is the premise of Véro Cratzborn’s (Into Dad’s Woods [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Véro Cratzborn
film profile
]
) new film, produced by Thomas Lambert for France’s Tomsa Films. Lambert describes it as “a love story about fusion and loss, where saving becomes a trap.” Moreover, Cratzborn explained: “Anchored in reality, Molecules will slide towards strangeness and a close-to-us body horror, brutal and frontal. [...] It will combine fright with humanity and emotion. I will explore another dimension of reality through macro and microscopic images, to invite us to change our point of view through telescoping and hybridisation.”

Orphée Stéphane Riethauser (Switzerland/France)
Provisionally budgeted at 3 million Swiss francs, Riethauser’s (Madame [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) new effort follows young Leo, who is hired to dance Orpheus at the opera and falls in love with the famous choreographer Matthias Stern. The creative team described it as “an intimate drama celebrating the mysteries of love.”

“In Locarno Pro we had a beautiful experience. Our first experience was at the co-production village in Les Arcs, where we found our French co-producer Thomas Lambert [of Tomsa Films] and now at A4Development, we think we finalised our team to move further for the production financial process. The meetings were all interesting and useful. […] We were really happy to be part of the initiative for the end of the development phase of our project,” said Véronique Vergari, producer for Switzerland’s Luna Films.

Check out the exclusive artwork below:

Element Mariko Minoguchi (Germany)
Jorgo Narjes
for X Filme Creative Pool (the studio behind titles such as Amour [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michael Haneke
film profile
]
, Cloud Atlas [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
, The White Ribbon [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michael Haneke
film profile
]
, Good Bye Lenin! [+see also:
trailer
interview: Wolfgang Becker
film profile
]
, Frantz [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: François Ozon
film profile
]
and the series Babylon Berlin) is producing Mariko Minoguchi’s (Relativity [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) new picture. In it, one day the tide recedes around the world and Earth’s water threatens to disappear, and geophysicist Mila is tasked with travelling to the mysterious source of the natural disaster in the Atlantic Ocean and stopping the disappearance. Before she can avert the impending end of humanity, however, she must realise that the solution to the mystery lies in her own traumatic past. Minoguchi is co-writing Element with Lukas Becker. Minoguchi and Narjes told Cineuropa: “A4D has been a great experience for us, as we were able to connect with industry professionals such as legendary film producer Christine Vachon as well as leading international sales agencies and production companies based in Europe and the US.”

You can find the full list of selected projects here.

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