3B and Tessalit Productions on top of the world
by Fabien Lemercier
French outfits 3B Productions and Tessalit Productions , founded and co-run by Jean Bréhat and Rachid Bouchareb, can celebrate a double victory as two of their films have been selected in official competition at the 59th Cannes Film Festival (May 17-28). Coincidentally, both features deal with the topic of war.
A two-time award winner at Cannes in 1999 with L’Humanité [+see also:
film profile], Bruno Dumont is back in competition with his fourth feature, Flanders (see article), which explores the impact of war by retracing the paths of young men from Flanders who leave for a conflict abroad.
Set in modern times and starring non-professional actors, the story follows their arrival at the front, the comradeship between soldiers, their fear and expectations, and misery and horror of war, without forgetting their return home and the difficulties they encounter in becoming the men they were before. With a total budget of €2.1m, the film’s funding also included €400,000 from Arte France Cinéma, an advance on box-office receipts of €450,000 from the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), a pre-sales agreement from Ciné Cinéma and exceptional funding of €200,000 from France’s Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.
International sales for Flanders are being handled by Films Distribution, which is also handling sales of Days of Glory [+see also:
interview: Jean Bréhat
interview: Rachid Bouchareb
film profile] by Rachid Bouchareb, who will represent his home country, Algeria, in the Cannes competition.
With a cast that includes Jamel Debbouze, Sami Bouajila, Roschdy Zem and Samy Naceri, the film relates the misadventures of North African infantrymen who fought with France during WWII but yet on the day of victory were deprived of their right to parade down the Champs-Elysées because they were Arab or black. "Making Days of Glory,” Debbouze pointed out in an interview during filming, “means explaining to young beurs [second generation immigrants of North African origin] that they were born in France for a reason. Like all French citizens, they have a story that is part of the history of France. Because their grandparents and their parents sacrificed themselves for the freedom of this country, this is their country".
Days of Glory received €14.4m in funding, including co-production funding and a pre-sales agreement from France 3 Cinéma (€1.35m) and France 2 Cinéma (€1.15m), an advance an box office takings from the CNC, a pre-sales agreement from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma and Belgian co-production funding of 10% from Versus Production.
(Translated from French)
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