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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France

Léa Fehner’s Midwives selected for the Berlinale

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- The director is returning with a Geko Films production for Arte, sold by Pyramide International, which is set to world premiere in the Panorama section

Léa Fehner’s Midwives selected for the Berlinale

Revealed via Silent Voices [+see also:
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interview: Qu'un seul tienne et les au…
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(discovered in the 2009 Giornate degli Autori, awarded the Louis-Delluc Prize for Best First Film in the same year, as well as being nominated for the Best First Film César in 2010) and well-received via Ogres [+see also:
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(the winner of Rotterdam’s Big Screen competition in 2016 which was also nominated for the Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay Lumières that same year), the all-too-rare French filmmaker Léa Fehner is set to grace the Panorama line-up of the 73rd Berlinale (running 16 – 26 February) with Midwives.

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Produced for Arte France, this fiction film is the second chapter of a collection initiated by Guillaume Brac’s All Hands on Deck [+see also:
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interview: Guillaume Brac
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]
(likewise presented in Berlin’s Panorama section in 2020), of which a third instalment is scheduled to be shot in the summer with Léonor Serraille in the driver’s seat. "It’s a collection in the spirit of Tous les garçons et les filles de mon âge, which Arte France produced in the mid-‘90s, notably consisting of André Téchiné’s Les Roseaux sauvages, Olivier Assayas’ Cold Water, Cédric Kahn’s Too Much Happiness, Claire Denis, Patricia Mazuy etc.”, explains producer Grégoire Debailly (a European Film Promotion Producer on the Move of 2019 – read our interview). "The set-up? Screenplays written in workshops by students in their final year at the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique in Paris, who then form part of the cast."

Stand-out names in Midwives include Khadija Kouyaté, Héloïse Janjaud, Myriem Akheddiou, Quentin Vernede and Tarik Kariouh. Penned by Léa Fehner and Catherine Paillé (The Sixth Child [+see also:
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, Magnetic Beats [+see also:
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, All Hands on Deck), the story revolves around Sofia and Louise, two midwives starting out in their careers after five years of training. They soon find themselves faced with the challenges of daily hospital life. Friends for life against all odds, they dive headlong into this world where they’re confronted with fundamental situations: birth, motherhood and sometimes death. Will their friendship and vocation withstand such a storm? The film is a sensitive and searing exposé of a key profession and the ramifications of a broken healthcare system for individuals.

Produced by Arte France on behalf of Geko Films, Midwives has enjoyed the support of the Occitanie region where the film was shot, with Jacques Girault (Softie [+see also:
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interview: Samuel Theis
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]
, Sauvage [+see also:
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interview: Camille Vidal-Naquet
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) heading up photography. Following its broadcast on Arte, the film will be released in French cinemas via Geko Distribution. Sales are entrusted to Pyramide International.

For the record, Geko Films are currently overseeing post-production on La Nouvelle Femme by Léa Todorov (starring Jasmine Trinca and Leïla Bekhti in lead roles – read our news).

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(Translated from French)

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