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Gaumont Clinches Deals on French-Korean Romcom ‘#iamhere’ (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Gaumont Clinches Deals on French-Korean Romcom ‘#iamhere’ (Exclusive)
Gaumont has clinched a raft of deals on Eric Lartigau’s Korea-set romantic comedy #iamhere which had its market premiere at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French cinema in Paris.

Headlined by Alain Chabat (“Valerian”) and Bae Doona (“Sense8”), the film was penned by Lartigau and Thomas Bidegain (“Sisters Brothers”). Chabat stars as a prominent French chef with two kids and an ex-wife who falls in love with a mysterious Korean woman (Doona) whom he meets on Instagram. On a whim, Stéphane decides to visit her in Seoul but when she doesn’t show up at the airport, he sets off to find her and spends the next 10 days searching for her . Filled with adventure, his journey allows him to open up to a new world and rediscover himself. Popular French standup comedian Blanche Gardin also stars.

Co-produced and represented by Gaumont, #iamhere was acquired for Latin America (Cinepolis), Canada (Az Films
See full article at Variety »

Olivier Peyon plunges Karin Viard into the heart of a Tokyo Shaking - Production / Funding - France/Belgium

The director and the actress have begun filming a comedy-drama revolving around the Fukushima disaster, produced by Les Films du Lendemain and sold worldwide by Le Pacte. Monday 13 January saw shooting commence on Tokyo Shaking, Olivier Peyon’s 5th feature film following on from the fiction titles Stolen Holidays (2007) and Life Beyond Me (2017), and the documentaries Comment j’ai détesté les maths (nominated for a César in 2014 in its category) and Latifa: A Fighting Heart (2017). Shining bright as the film’s lead is Karin Viard (Best Actress César in 2000 and nominated in 2005, 2012 and 2015 – the latter for The Bélier Family - and in 2018 for Jalouse; Best Supporting Role Césars in 2003 and in 2019 – the latter for Little Tickles – and nominated in 1998, 2009, 2011 and 2016; now a candidate for the upcoming 2020 Best Actress Lumières Award by way of...
See full article at Cineuropa »

France’s Mars Films Put Under Court-Ordered Financial Restructuring, Plans to Focus on Production (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Mars Films, a leading French distribution company that released American indie films such as Oscar winners “12 Years a Slave” and “Moonlight” in France, has been put under financial restructuring and monitoring for six months by a business court in Paris.

The company, which has 23 employees, went into receivership Aug. 1 after it stopped paying creditors. Mars Films has an annual revenue of €36.8 million and a debt of €78.6 million, including more than €20 millions in current liabilities, according to court documents filed earlier this month. Headed by Stephane Celerier and Valerie Garcia, Mars Films was rescued from financial struggles once before, in 2015, by Vivendi, which took a 30% stake in the company.

In spite of its large debts, Mars boasts a strong library of more than 200 films among its assets, which together are worth a total of €107.3 million, according to the court documents. While it’s under financial restructuring, the company will proceed
See full article at Variety »

Elle Driver scores Rdv deals on Audrey Dana’s 'If I Were A Boy'

Exclusive: Comedy centres on woman who wakes up one morning with something extra.

Elle Driver is reporting brisk business on Audrey Dana’s comedy If I Were A Boy following a packed screening at the Unifrance Rendez-vous With French Cinema in Paris, which runs from January 12-16.

Popular French actress Dana directs and stars as the unlucky-in-love heroine Jeanne – a recently-divorced single mother who has sworn off men.

One morning she wakes up with a penis – a development that mystifies her gynaecologist and results in some quirky situations as Jeanne navigates her way – emotionally and physically – through the unprecedented development.

Other cast members include Serial (Bad) Weddings star Christian Clavier; Eric Elmosnino, whose recent credits include the hit La Famille Bélier; and Alice Belaïdi (A Little Job, The Climb).

It is Dana’s second feature in the director’s chair after her 2014 ensemble work French Women (Sous Les Jupes des Filles) co-starring Isabelle Adjani, Laetitia Casta, [link
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Dinard festival sets Brexit panel, Claude Lelouch as jury president

  • ScreenDaily
Dinard festival sets Brexit panel, Claude Lelouch as jury president
Competition films include Alice Lowe’s Prevenge and John Carney’s Sing Street.

The programme and jury for this year’s Dinard British Film Festival (Sept 28 – Oct 2) – the annual celebration of British cinema hosted on the French coast – has been revealed.

Presiding over the 2016 jury will be Oscar-winning French writer and director Claude Lelouch (A Man And A Woman), who will be joined by actor James d’Arcy (Master And Commander), actress and scriptwriter Victoria Bedos (La Famille Bélier), actress Julie Ferrier (Heartbreaker), distributor and producer Eric Lagesse (Beijing Bicycle), actor and director Jalil Lespert (Human Resources), actress Anne Parillaud (La Femme Nikita), producer Colin Vaines (Coriolanus), actor Phil Davis (Notes On A Scandal), and actress Florence Thomassin (Mesrine).

Among the festival’s industry events will be a round table discussion titled Brexit… What next? Following a screening of documentary Versus, The Life And Films Of Ken Loach, proceedings will be led by regular Ken Loach producer
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Serial (Bad) Weddings' duo to reunite on comedy for Snd

Philippe de Chauveron is re-teaming with star Christian Clavier following the pair’s 2014 box-office hit.

Philippe de Chauveron {pictures, top], director of French box office hit Serial (Bad) Weddings, will reunite with Christian Clavier for new comedy Pleeeeeze, also starring Anne Dorval (Mommy) and François Damiens (La Famille Bélier).

Production companies are Puslar Productions and Clavier’s Ouille Productions. The film will be co-produced by Paris-based sales company Snd, who will also handle worldwide sales and French distribution.

The culture-clash comedy stars Clavier as Jean Etienne Fougerole a brilliant, left-wing intellectual with an heiress wife (Dorval) and a new book to promote. But Fougerole is forced to practice what he preaches after a TV talk show host challenges him to open his own home to those in need, rather than encouraging others to do so.

Fougerole accepts and shares his address, only to find his life turned upside down by the arrival of Romanian gypsy father, Babik
See full article at ScreenDaily »

UniFrance Rendez-vous: comedy, art and real-life tales rule

UniFrance Rendez-vous: comedy, art and real-life tales rule
Market sets scene for Berlin and Cannes but few deals sealed.

Sellers reported a slow start to the year at UniFrance’s annual Rendez-vous with French Cinema in Paris over the weekend (Dec 14-18) in terms of sealed deals but said the event had set the stage for sales at Berlin and even Cannes.

“Buyers are getting pickier. They want titles they’re 100% sure will work in their territories. You get the sense things are tougher for them and that they’re not prepared to take risks. They’re looking for the next La Famille Bélier or Serial (Bad) Weddings,” commented Olivier Albou of Other Angle Pictures, referring to two of France’s top comedy exports of the last 18 months.

Albou said there was strong interest for Other Angle titles The Roommates Party (Le Grand Partage), Full Speed (A Fond), by Babysitting director Nicolas Benamou, and A Mighty Team (La Dream Team), which opened the event on Thursday
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Us titles dominate French box office in 2015

Us titles dominate French box office in 2015
The Us share of the French market rose to 54.5% in 2015 against 45.4% in 2014.

French cinemas drew 206 million spectators in 2015, according to preliminary data released by the country’s National Cinema Centre (Cnc).

The figure was 1.4% lower than 2014 - a stellar year in which there was a 7.7% hike in entries for a total of 208.97 million – but still remained above the 10-year average annual box office of 199.58 million.

“For the second year running, cinema theatres have attracted more than 200 million spectators,” said Cnc president Frédérique Bredin.

She added the admissions figures were a sign of the vitality of France’s cinephile culture and cinema network, describing the latter as “the biggest in Europe”.

Challenging year

The healthy box office is all the more remarkable when put into the context of the impact of terror attacks on Paris in January and November.

Cinema attendance dropped by 5.4% in January following the deadly assaults on a satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Copyright on agenda at Ansip meeting with European filmmakers

  • ScreenDaily
Copyright on agenda at Ansip meeting with European filmmakers
A delegation of film industry professionals discussed the EC’s proposed copyright reform with vp Andrus Ansip.

The European Commission’s plans for copyright reform have been discussed today (Friday Nov 13) at a meeting hosted by the EC’s vice-president Andrus Ansip in Brussels with a delegation of filmmakers, including Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius and Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier.

The delegation also included UniFrance Films president Jean-Paul Salomé, German screenwriter Fred Breinersdorfer (co-screenwriter of the Berlinale Competition title 13 Minutes), Belgian actor-writer-director Lucas Belvaux, Polish producer-director Dariusz Jabłoński, vice-president of the European Producers Club, and the French filmmakers Eric Lartigau (La Famille Bélier) and Dante Desarthe (Le système de Ponzi), co-presidents of the L’Arp producers’ association, and Denmark’s Annette J. Olesen, director of the crime thriller The Shooter.

The high-level rendez-vous comes less than a week before Ansip will be travelling to his home country for the European Film Forum (18-19 November) during this year’s
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Gaumont’s 'Heartstrings' pulls sales

Exclusive: Violin prodigy Alix Vaillot [pictured] stars as a musician battling blindness.

Gaumont has been pulling in sales on Michel Boujenah’s touching drama Heartstrings, starring French violin prodigy Alix Vaillot as a young musician battling blindness, ahead of its official roll-out at the Afm. Other cast include Charles Berling and Pascal Elbe.

The film has sold to Japan (Kino Films), Canada (Az Films) and Korea (Woo Sung). A deal to Germany and Switzerland (Ascot Elite) was announced over the summer. “It’s rare to get a Japanese pre-sale on a script for a French film,” comments Gaumont’s deputy head of international sales Yohann Comte.

The comedy-drama – based on Pascal Ruter’s best-seller Le Coeur en Braille – is in the vein of this year’s French box-office hit La Famille Bélier, adds Comte. Vaillot plays a young girl with musical aspirations, battling her parents’ plans to put her in an institution for the blind. Such a move
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Afm: Gaumont’s 'Heartstrings' pulls sales

Exclusive: Violin prodigy Alix Vaillot [pictured] stars as a musician battling blindness.

Gaumont has been pulling in sales on Michel Boujenah’s touching drama Heartstrings, starring French violin prodigy Alix Vaillot as a young musician battling blindness, ahead of its official roll-out at the Afm. Other cast include Charles Berling and Pascal Elbe.

The film has sold to Japan (Kino Films), Canada (Az Films) and Korea (Woo Sung). A deal to Germany and Switzerland (Ascot Elite) was announced over the summer. “It’s rare to get a Japanese pre-sale on a script for a French film,” comments Gaumont’s deputy head of international sales Yohann Comte.

The comedy-drama – based on Pascal Ruter’s best-seller Le Coeur en Braille – is in the vein of this year’s French box-office hit La Famille Bélier, adds Comte. Vaillot plays a young girl with musical aspirations, battling her parents’ plans to put her in an institution for the blind. Such a move
See full article at ScreenDaily »

La Famille Bélier review – feelgood comedy

An award-winning French tale about a teenage girl and her deaf parents is frothy but moving

Last December, Rebecca Atkinson wrote in the Guardian of a boycott of La Famille Bélier in protest at its casting of “hearing actors to play the roles of deaf characters, the result of which is an embarrassing and crass interpretation of deaf culture and sign language”. In the wake of Miroslav Slaboshpitsky’s grim but authentic The Tribe, such a response is understandable, although Eric Lartigau’s frothy comedy about the teenage daughter of deaf parents finding her singing voice has proved a feelgood hit in France, with Louane Emera picking up a César for most promising actress. As Paula, Emera is indeed a winning presence, and it would take a hard heart not to be moved by her rendition of Michel Sardou’s Je Vole, or to appreciate Lartigau’s attempts to convey
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Omar Sy Adds French Dramedy 'Two is a Family' to His Slate

Après La Famille BÉLIER voilà notre 2e production Demain, Tout Commence (co produit avec Vendôme). Un film d Hugo Gelin avec O.Sy & C.Poesy — Stephane Celerier (@stephanecel) September 11, 2015 Above, French producer Stéphane Célérier announces via his Twitter account the start of production on a new feature film titled "Two is a Family," which will be directed by Hugo Gélin, and will star Omar Sy and Clemence Poesy. Details on the project aren't in abundance, but we do know that the film (based on my translation from French to English) will see Omar Sy play a reluctant father to a child he never...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

This week’s new films

Legend | Irrational Man | Pasolini | Containment | Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials | La Famille Bélier | The Visit | How To Change The World

The myth of the Krays is polished into something bright, sparkly and free of rough edges here – a period piece with no great feel for the period and nothing particularly new to bring to the tale of the 1960s gangster twins. The only remarkable aspect is Hardy’s committed double role (slightly over-committed in the case of Ronnie), but it’s two wasted performances for the price of one.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Snd boards Omar Sy-starrer 'Two Is A Family'

Snd boards Omar Sy-starrer 'Two Is A Family'
Latest production from the team behind La Famille Bélier.

Paris-based sales company Snd has picked up world sales on French director Hugo Gélin’s London-set Two Is A Family, starring Omar Sy (Intouchables) as a TV stuntman left to bring up an unplanned baby girl on his own.

It is latest production from prolific Philippe Rousselet of Vendome Production, whose recent credits include this year’s breakout hit La Famille Bélier and Tommy Wirkola’s upcoming sci-fi thriller What Happened to Monday?, both of which Snd also sold.

“Reading the script we knew we had an instant classic,” said Rousselet. “There’s no better feeling than finding a gem, polishing it and bringing it to screens.”

Mars Film is also on board as a producer while sister company Mars Distribution will release the film in France.

Pantelion Films has picked up Latin America.

“We’re happy to team up once again with this wonderful team of producers
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Wild Bunch Ag plans UK, Italy expansion

Further expansion plans following Senator merger include creation/acquisition of co-production and direct distribution companies in the UK and Australia.

Recently renamed Wild Bunch Ag has announced a surge in profits and expansion plans into Italy, the UK and Australia in its first six-month financial results report since it merged with Germany’s Senator Entertainment Ag.

The new entity, which is publicly quoted on the Frankfurt bourse, was created earlier this year out of the merger of Paris-based Wild Bunch and Germany’s Senator Entertainment Ag.

It was agreed at an Agm in June to officially rename the new company Wild Bunch Ag from Senator Entertainment Ag, keeping Senator as a brand for production.

The company said first-half revenues for 2015 has multiplied roughly sevenfold to $77m (€68m) compared with Senator’s June 2014 figure of $1.07m (€9.5m).

Gross profit had jumped to $12m (€11m) from a loss of $788k (€700k) for Senator in the same period last year
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Timbuktu triumphs at French Césars

Timbuktu triumphs at French Césars
Film is nominated for Oscar in foreign language category. Kristen Stewart and Sean Penn also win Césars.

Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu picked up seven awards at France’s César ceremony in Paris on Friday evening (February 20), including best film and best director.

The film, inspired by the stoning to death of an unmarried couple with children by Islamists in northern Mali in 2012, has gained fresh resonance in France following the deadly attack on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January.

The picture also picked up awards for its screenplay, sound, editing and cinematography while celebrated Tunisian composer Amine Bouhafa clinched the César for best original score.

Timbuktu is in the running for an Oscar in the foreign language category on Sunday night, alongside Ida, Leviathan, Tangerines and Wild Tales.

Another top winner at Friday’s ceremony was Thomas Cailley’s Love At First Fight (Les Combattants), about the relationship that blooms on an army assault course. It won for
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Kristen Stewart becomes first American actress to win a César Award

  • Hitfix
Kristen Stewart becomes first American actress to win a César Award
The 40th annual César Awards (i.e., the French Oscar equivalent) were bestowed in Paris Friday, with "Timbuktu" claiming top honors. The film, Oscar-nominated in the foreign category as Mauritania's first-ever submission, won seven awards overall and is seen as a potential spoiler at the Oscars on Sunday. Also of note, Kristen Stewart, who had already become the first American actress to receive a César nomination in 30 years, went on to win the supporting actress prize for her performance in "Sils Maria." That makes her the first American actress to ever win a César (and the first American period since Adrien Brody in 2003). Perhaps that will set her up as someone to watch out for at the Oscars next year, but that might be tricky with an April Us release. Check out the full list of winners below, the nominees here and the rest of the season at The Circuit.
See full article at Hitfix »

Timbuktu triumphs at French Lumiere awards

Timbuktu triumphs at French Lumiere awards
Franco-Mauritanian Abderrahmane Sissako Timbuktu has clinched best film and best director at the Lumière Awards, France’s version of the Golden Globes.

The Oscar-nominated film, about the impact of Islamic fundamentalism on a rural community in Mali, has taken on new resonance in France following a series of terrorist attacks by extremists in Paris last month.

The other contenders for best film comprised Bertrand Bonello’s Yves Saint Laurent biopic Saint Laurent, Benoît Jacquot’s 3 Hearts, Eric Lartigau’s La Famille Bélier, Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood (Bande de Fille) and Lucas Belvaux’s Not My Type (Pas Mon Genre).

Belgian Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night - for which lead actress Marion Cotillard is nominated for an a best actress academy award - won the best prize for best foreign, Francophone film.

Best script went to Philippe de Chauveron and Guy Laurent for hit multiracialism comedy Serial (Bad) Weddings (Qu’est-ce qu’on a fait
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Actresses Deneuve and Stewart Make 'French Oscar' History

Kristen Stewart, Catherine Deneuve make César Award history (photo: Kristen Stewart in 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' with Juliette Binoche) Kristen Stewart and Catherine Deneuve are two 2015 César Award nominees making history. The French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts announced the nominations on Jan. 28, 2015; the César Awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 20, 2015, at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet. Kristen Stewart is in the running in the Best Supporting Actress category for Clouds of Sils Maria / Sils Maria. Catherine Deneuve has been shortlisted as Best Actress for In the Courtyard / Dans la cour. So, how are Stewart and Deneuve making César history? Well, let's begin with "the expected one": Deneuve. Catherine Deneuve One of the biggest film icons ever, Catherine Deneuve is one of those relatively rare international film superstars who has never bothered with – or needed – a Hollywood career. Deneuve, who turned 71 last October 22, has been
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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