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LOCARNO 2006 Competition / France

Laurent Achard and Viviane Candas set sights on Leopard


Two French features are among the 21 selected for the official competition of the 59th Locarno International Film Festival (August 2-12).

Winner of the Tiger Award at Rotterdam in 1999 with his debut feature Plus qu’hier, moins que demain (lit “More Than Yesterday, Less Than Tomorrow"), Laurent Achard’s second feature, Le dernier des fous [+see also:
film review
interview: Dominique Barneaud
interview: Laurent Achard
film profile
(lit. “The Last of the Crazy People”), will compete for the Golden Leopard at Locarno.

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A screen adaptation of the novel The Last of the Crazy People by Timothy Findley, with a cast that includes Julien Cochelin, Annie Cordy and Pascal Cervo, the film is set in the present, in the French countryside during summer.

Martin, 11, sees his family fall apart on his parent’s farm. His mother lives shut up in her room, while his older brother is an alcoholic and their father, controlled by the grandmother, is a mere powerless spectator in the family’s break-up. The situation will end tragically.

Produced by Agat Films & Cie, in co-production with Rhône-Alpes Cinéma and Belgian outfit Versus Production (10%), the €2m budget Le dernier des fous received an advance on receipts of €410,000 from the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC) and funding of €145,000 from the Film and Audiovisual Centre of the French Community of Belgium.

Not a single French broadcaster has bought the film, which was presented at the 2005 Rotterdam Cinemart. Already a winner of the 2006 Jean Vigo Award, Le dernier des fous will be distributed in France on November 8 by Ad Vitam, with Films Distribution handling international sales.

Meanwhile, Viviane Candas will present her Suzanne et les vieillards [+see also:
film profile
(lit. “Suzanne and the Old People”) in competition. Her second feature – after The Bathers (2003) – stars Patrick Bauchau, Christine Citti, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Edith Scob and Claude Perron and recounts the misadventures of Frank, who becomes detached from his wife, Mado, after the loss of their son.

Max, his childhood friend, introduces Frank to mistresses and other dodgy encounters through small ads. When Mado dies suddenly, Frank’s world falls apart. One day, in the park, he meets Suzanne, with whom he had been crossing paths for months without knowing it, and he falls in love. However, there is rivalry between the two friends, when Max tries to win Suzanne’s heart.

Produced, distributed and sold by Gémini Films , Suzanne et les vieillards was made on a €1.02m budget and included an advance on receipts from the CNC, a pre-sales agreement from Ciné Cinéma and backing from Centre Images.

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(Translated from French)

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