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PRODUCTION France

Surviving with wolves in the midst of war

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An isolated farm near Gérardmer in the Vosges is the next port of call for the crew of Véra Belmont’s Survivre avec les loups (lit. "Surviving With Wolves"), a Belgian/French co-production scheduled to wrap up filming in May.

The fourth feature and first film in 12 years by the director-producer, Survivre avec les loups is based on a true-life account of Misha Defonseca during WWII.

Young actress Mathilde Goffart stars as Misha, while other cast members include Yaël Abecassis (Live and Become [+see also:
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interview: Denis Carot
interview: Didar Domehri
interview: Radu Mihaileanu
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]
), Guy Bedos, Benno Fürmann (Merry Christmas [+see also:
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interview: Christian Carion
interview: Christophe Rossignon
film profile
]
), Michèle Bernier, Franck De La Personne and Anne-Marie Philippe.

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In 1942, eight year-old Jewish girl Misha is living in Brussels, where she is constantly changing schools and homes, until the day her parents are arrested by the Gestapo and deported. As the family who hide Misha are also about to be caught by the Nazis, the young girl runs away and heads eastwards, where she believes her parents have been sent.

A veritable odyssey ensues that brings Misha to the Ukraine, after having crossed Belgium, Germany and Poland, where she braves the cold, hunger and, most importantly, the wolves. Misha adopts the behaviour of the latter and is accepted into a wolfpack that helps her to survive in a Europe in the midst of war.

Produced by the director’s outfit Stéphan Films and Hubert Toint for Saga Film (Belgium), the €7m Survivre avec les loups has been pre-sold to Canal + and CinéCinéma. The score will be composed by Emilie Simon (The Emperor’s Journey [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

Filming – which began in the Jura Lakes in the Franche-Comté region (who are also backing the film) last November – continued in Strasbourg in January (with support from the Strasbourg Urban Community and the Alsace region). Several scenes were shot at the Haras nationaux (French public equestrian grounds). Further lensing is lined up in the Haut-Doubs, if the crew does not go to Germany in March/April, as part of a co-production currently under negotiation.

The title is slated for a November 2007 release through Bac Films in France, while Wild Bunch are handling international sales, which are currently underway at the European Film Market in Berlin.

(Translated from French)

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