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Captain Achab competes for Leopard


Three Gallic productions are among the 19 features selected in international competition at the 60th Locarno International Film Festival (August 1-11, see news). Heading the list is Captain Achab [+see also:
film profile
by Philippe Ramos, the director’s second feature after Farewell Homeland (2003).

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The film stars Denis Lavant, Dominique Blanc, Jacques Bonnaffé , Jean-François Stévenin, Carlo Brandt, Virgil Leclaire, singer Philippe Katherine, Hande Kodja , Guillaume Verdier and Jean-Paul Bonnaire.

A 70% French and 30% Swedish production, Captain Achab – written by Ramos with Camille Fontaine – recounts the life of hero Moby Dick in five parts (three childhood and two adult episodes), only evoking the well-known novel by Herman Melville on which the film is based at the end of the film.

Produced by Florence Borelly for Sésame Films and Olivier Guerpillon for DFM Fiktion, Captain Achab carries a €2.37m budget that includes CNC advances on receipts (€450,000), pre-sales and co-production funding from Arte France Cinéma (€350,000), pre-sales from Ciné Cinéma. Further backing came from the SFI, Film i Väst, Centre Images and Rhônes-Alpes Cinéma (also co-producer).

Sous les toits de Paris by Kurdish film director Hiner Saleem (who presented his Kilometre Zero [+see also:
film profile
in competition at Cannes 2005 and whose Vodka Lemon was acclaimed at Venice 2003) is also one of the Golden Leopard contenders.

Starring Michel Piccoli, Mylène Demongeot, Maurice Bénichou, Marie Kremer, Rudi Rosenberg and Birol Ünel, the Agat Films & Cie production is being sold internationally by Wild Bunch. The €2.31m budget feature was supported by CNC advances on receipts and pre-sales from Canal+ and Ciné Cinéma.

Diaphana will release the title in France.

The selection also features French/Algerian co-production La maison jaune (“Yellow House”). This is Amor Hakkar’s second feature after Sale temps pour un voyou (1992) and was produced by France’s Sarah Films, run by the Besançon born and raised director. The Fonds Sud Cinéma (€130,000), directed by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the CNC provided backing.

Members of the international competition jury include French actress Irène Jacob and French-Swiss actor Bruno Todeschini.

(Translated from French)

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