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BERLINALE 2007 Belgium

Irina Palm and les noyés

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Irina Palm and les noyés

The Berlin International Film Festival (February 8–18, 2007), which continues to unveil its programme, a few days ago confirmed its selection of Sam Garbarski’s Irina Palm [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sam Garbarski
interview: Sébastien Delloye
film profile
]
in official competition.

Produced by Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium), Pallas Films (Germany), Ipso Facto (UK) and Belgian Patrick Quinet’s French outfit, Liaison cinématographique, Irina Palm is Garbarski’s second feature after Le Tango des Rashevski and has only recently finished filming.

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Scripted by Philippe Blasband (see interview) and Martin Herron, Irina Palm, was filmed entirely on location in the UK and stars British rock muse Marianne Faithfull as a 50 year-old woman in such financial difficulty that she looks for a job in a Soho sex shop, whose owner (Miki Manojlovic), intrigued by her initiative, gives her a job. From then on, Maggie is "Irina Palm".

Already sold worldwide by Pyramide International, the film received €420,000 from the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel of Wallonia’s Communauté française, Eurimages, Fonspa, Wallimage and Canal +. The title’s Benelux release will be handled by Paradiso Filmed Entertainment.

Another Belgian title at Berlin is Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd’s documentary, Le cercle des noyés (lit. “The Circle of the Drowned”), in competition in the Forum section. Taking it’s title from the name given to black political prisoners (“noyés”) in Mauritania locked up from 1987 in the ancient colonial fort of Oualata, Vandeweerd’s documentary divulges the memories of one of the prisoners and, through his story, the country’s as well.

A French co-production with Zeugma Films, Le cercle des noyés was produced by Cobra Films, Gsara, CBA and Les Ateliers du Laziri and backed by the Centre du Cinéma et l'Audiovisuel of the Communauté française de Belgique.

Two co-productions about women will also represent Belgium. The second much-awaited feature by Maria Speth, Madonnen, starring German actress Sandra Hüller (see interview in Focus on Requiem [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hans-Christian Schmid
interview: Hans-Christian Schmid
interview: Sandra Hueller
film profile
]
).

Sold by Cinerworx, the Pandora Filmproduktion (Germany) film is a Swiss/Belgian co-production. The Belgian co-producer is Les Films du Fleuve, run by the Dardenne brothers and Olivier Gourmet (see interview), who also stars in the film.

The second co-production is Wolfsbergen by Dutch director Nanouk Leopold. Produced in Belgium by Cosmo Kino (co-producer of his second film Guernsey [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and in the Netherlands by Circe Films, the film was backed by Nederlands Fonds Voor de Film, the Vlaams Audiovisuel Fonds and Eurimages and is being sold internationally by Films Distribution.

Starring talented actor Jan Decleir, Wolfsbergen revolves around a shattered family and wrapped up filming in June.

Aside from the Generation section, which includes Ben Sombogaart’s Crusade in Jeans [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, another Dutch/Belgian co-production, Pascale Ferran’s Lady Chatterley [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, will screen in the Panorama sidebar. Winner of the 2006 Louis Delluc Prize from French critics, the Belgian co-production by Saga Film is scheduled for a March 7 release in Belgium.

(Translated from French)

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