AFM: Vixens Readies Director-Driven, Elevated Genre Slate

Elsa Keslassy
Variety

Launched just under two years ago by Gary Farkas, Clement Lepoutre and Olivier Muller, the Paris-based production company Vixens is building a stylish slate of director-driven, genre-bending projects, including Turkish helmer Can Evrenol’s “Housewife,” Swedish-Iranian director Milad Alami’s “The Charmer” and French director Christophe Deroo’s “Beyond The Wall of Sleep.”

“Housewife” marks the English-language debut of Evrenol, an up-and-coming Turkish helmer who made his debut with “Baskin.” A surreal horror pic, “Baskin” played at TIFF’s Midnight Madness section and earned Evrenol a best director nod at Fantastic Fest. “Baskin” was released in the U.S. by IFC.

Described by Vixens as being in the vein of “Rosemary’s Baby” and Dario Argento’s films, the film was written by Evrenol with his co-scribe on “Baskin,” Cem Ozuduru. Turkish outfit Mo Film is co-producing.

Vixens is currently negotiating with several partners on “Housewife,” including Lene Borglum at Space Rocket Nation, the Danish production outfit behind Nicolas Winding Refn’s films, Manuel Chiche’s French company The Jokers and XYZ in the U.S. Shooting will take place in January in Istanbul.

“Beyond the Wall of Sleep,” meanwhile, will be the sophomore outing of Christophe Deroo, whose debut “Sam Was Here” played at Sitges, Etrange Festival in Paris and Gerardmer, among other festivals. An adaptation of a novel by Howard Phillips Lovecraft by the same name, the Gothic supernatural film will be shot in two parts against a backdrop reminiscent of “The Revenant.” Shooting will kick off during the last quarter of 2017.

“The Charmer,” meanwhile, marks the first feature film of Alami, a promising emerging filmmaker whose shorts “Mini,””Void” and “Mommy” have played at festivals including Karlovy Vary, Goteborg and Cannes’ Directors Fortnight.

“The Charmer,” a psychological drama with some thriller elements, turns on a Danish-Iranian under-achiever who lives under a fake identity and is forced to reconsider his life after falling in love with a woman.
“The Charmer” will have an disturbing, surreal atmosphere, said Farkas, who previously worked at Wild Bunch. Denmark’s Good Company Films is lead-producing the project.

Also on Vixens’ roster is David Raboy’s “The Giant,” English-speaking horror film in the vein of “It Follows.” Sold by Insiders MadRiver, “The Giant” will be shooting in the summer.

The outfit’s first and only French-language project is Martin Scali’s directorial debut “Un Prince,”
which is a crime drama set to start shooting next year in France.

As it’s now basting a large slate of projects, Vixens has just welcomed two new partners: Julie Mathieu, who previously worked at Iconoclast, and Arié Chamouni, who worked at Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s Stone Angels.

Aside from its film biz, Farkas, Lepoutre and Muller also run Phantasm, an outfit handling commercials and musicvids with a prestigious client list including Kanye West, Travis Scott and Foals, as well as Yves Saint Laurent, Apple Music and Warner Music U.K.

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