Les Arcs Film Festival’s Industry Sidebar Turns Spotlight on Hot European Projects

Elsa Keslassy
Variety

PARIS — Jonathan Nossiter (“Mondovino”), “Long Way North” helmer Remi Chaye, “Full Contact” director David Verbeek and “Gomorrah” cinematographer Maurizio Braucci are among the up-and-coming and established filmmakers set to present their next feature projects at Les Arcs Film Festival’s Coproduction Village.

Hosted in the French Alps Dec. 10-17, the 8th edition of the film festival will once again this year boast a strong industry program with 21 projects spanning 13 countries, on top of Canada, the country of honor.

Alumni of Les Arcs’ Coproduction Village include Laszlo Nemes (“Son of Saul”), Alice Rohrwacher (“The Wonders”), Grimur Hakonarson (“Rams”), Runar Runarsson (“Sparrows”) and Clément Cogitore (“The Wakhan Font”).

Remi Chaye, who made his feature debut with the animated film “Longway North,” one of the six French toonpics pre-selected for the Academy Awards, will present “A Childhood of Martha Jane Canary,” a colorful retelling of Calamity Jane’s youth, with France’s Sacrebleu and Maybe Movies on board to produce.

Dutch director David Verbeek, whose latest film “Full Contact” competed at Toronto in the Platform section, will present “Dead & Beautiful,” an elevated genre project which Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin, Les Arcs fest’s CEO, describes as being in the vein of “Let The Right One In” and “The returned.” “Dead & Beautiful” follows a group of well-off, mischievous kids who turn into vampires after getting accidentally showered with fuel oil. Dutch outfit Lemming Film is producing with China’s XStream Pictures Limited.

“The Dream Girl,” meanwhile, marks the directorial debut of Maurizio Braucci, the critically-acclaimed cinematographer of Pietro Marcello’s “Lost and Beautiful,” Francesco Munzi’s “Black Souls” and Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah.”

“The Dream Girl,” produced by Italy’s MIR Cinematographica and Portugal’s Ubar Filmes, turns on the friendship between two patients of a psychiatric hospital who prostitute themselves.

Other promising projects include “Obiectiva Teodora” by Hungarian helmer Szabolcs Hajdu (“Mirage,” “It’s Not the Time of My Life”) and “Sad Liza” from Caroline Deruas, whose feature debut “Daydreams” is also playing at Les Arcs festival.

A coming-of-age tale, “Sad Liza” turns a friendship between two 17 year-old girls, one of whom suffers a ruptured aneurysm.

Deruas’s last short “Les enfants de la nuit” played at Locarno and New-York New Directors/New Films.

“Deruas is one of the 13 emerging directors who will introduce their projects to potential co-producers, sales agents and distributors at Les Arcs’s Coproduction Village,” said Fleurantin, who is working hand-in-hand with Jeremy Zellik, Les Arcs’s co-founder and head of the festival’s industry sidebar.

Taking place in Romania, “Obiectiva Teodora” centers on an Hungarian man living in Transylvania who discovers that his mother has been spied on by the secret services. The atmosphere of the film is reminiscent of “The lives of Others,” per Fleurantin.

One of the hottest projects to be pitched at Les Arcs is Jonathan Nossiter’s “The Last Words,” a dystopian film based on Santiago Amigorena’s novel, which turns on the last couple human beings on Earth. A high-profile cast is in negotiations. France’s Les Films du Rat and Paprika Films are producing the film.

Another French project which will likely stir some buzz is the Paris-set “Magic City,” Eva Ionesco’s follow up to “My Little Princess” which opened at Cannes’ Critics Week.

As part of its partnership with the Torino Film Lab, Les Arcs’s Coproduction Village will also present “Imperium,” by Jan Ole Gerster, whose 2012 pic “A Coffee in Berlin” played at Karlovy Vary and Rotterdam among other festivals. Germany’s Schiwago Film is producing.

Les Arcs’ Coproduction Village will host two roundtables: One which will discuss ways to coproduce with Quebec, exploring two examples of films produced with Canada: Philippe Faucon’s “Fatima” and Fulvio Bernasconi’s Miséricorde;” and a second panel which will brainstorm on European initiatives aimed at sustaining a new generation of women filmmakers. The roundtable will bring together Xavier Lardoux, head of cinema at the CNC, Anna Serner, head of the Swedish Film Institute, as well as “Lourdes” director Jessica Hausner. At the beginning of the panel, Les Arcs will unveil a study revealing the position of women directors in Europe and outlining new initiatives developed by European institutions.

The full list of projects (in alphabetical order) to be pitched at Les Arcs’s Coproduction Village are:

– “Anatolian Leopard,” directed by Emre Kayis, produced by Tato Film
– “Aunts Project,” directed by Andrea Staka, Kim Longinotto, Mirjana Karanovic, Sejla Kameric, produced by Wake Up Films, Agitprop, Alva Films
– “A Childhood of Martha Jane Canary”, directed by Rémi Chayé, produced by Sacrebleu, Maybe Movies
– “Dead & Beautiful,” directed by David Verbeek, produced by Lemming Film, XStream Pictures Limited
– “The Dream Girl,” directed by Maurizio Braucci, produced by MIR Cinematographica, Ubar Filmes
– “The Father Who Moved Mountains,” directed by Daniel Sandu, produced by Mobra Films
– “(F)light,” directed by Wouter Bouvijn, produced by Eyeworks Films
– “The Last Ones,” directed Veiko Ounpuu, produced by Homeless Bob, Bufo
– “The Last Words,” directed by Jonathan Nossiter, produced by Les Films du Rat, Paprika Films
– “Magic City,” directed by Eva Ionesco, produced by Diligence Films
– “Mind My Gap,”directed by Rosto, produced by Autour de Minuit, Studio Rosto
– “Minore,” directed by Konstantinos Koutsoliotas, produced by Inkas Film Productions
– “Obiectiva Teodora,” directed by Szabolcs Hadju, produced by Filmworks Ltd, Latokep Ensemble, Alphaville Production, Minds Meet
– “Oleg,” directed by Juris Kursietis, produced by Tasse Films, Alter Ego Pictures
– “The Photograph,” directed by Lubomir Bakchev, produced by Les Films Velvet, Eagles Team Entertainment
– “Sad Liza,”directed by Caroline Deruas, produced by Les Films de la Capitaine
– “The Story Of My Wife,” directed by Ildik Enyedi, produced by Inforg-M&M Film
– “We Didn’t Talk About The End,” directed by Mina Djukic, produced by Nemir Film, Film House Bas Celik
– “Imperium,” directed by Jan Ole Gerster, produced by Schiwago Film

Quebec Projects:

“Forgetting Charlotte,” directed by Frederick Pelletier, produced by 1976 Productions
“Mafia Inc,” directed by Daniel Grou, produced by Attraction Images

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