Magazine article Screen International

Philibert

Magazine article Screen International

Philibert

Article excerpt

Nicolas Altmayer of Mandarin Cinema and Marc Jenny of Okko Productions talk about their co-production project, the swashbuckling Philibert, currently in post-production.

Synopsis: When an idealistic farm boy learns that his real father was murdered, he sets out to avenge the evil deed. Along the way, he encounters many dastardly villains and licentious temptresses.

Director: Sylvain Fusée

Writer: Jean-François Halin was nominated for a Cesar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2007 for Mandarin Cinema's spy spoof OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies and also wrote the successful follow-on OSS 117: Lost In Rio. Karine Angeli was a co-writer on Mandarin's surfer comedy The Brice Man.

Producers: Eric Altmayer for Mandarin Cinema and Marc Jenny for Okko Productions

Cast: Jérémie Renier, Alexandre Astier, Manu Payet, Élodie Navarre

Financing: 80% Mandarin Cinema, with support from Gaumont, Canal Plus and M6 Films, 20% Okko Production, drawing on the Czech Republic's new Film Industry Support Programme.

Budget: $16.8m ([euro]12m)

International Sales: Gaumont

Distribution: Gaumont (France)

Language: French

Locations: Barrandov Studios, in and around Prague

Shoot dates: July 19-September 11

Status: Post-production

Release date: April 6, 2011

Building on the success of their OSS 117 franchise, French producers Nicolas and Eric Altmayer are taking the tongue-in-cheek approach to the swashbuckler with Philibert. The production called for the kind of cliff-scaling, castle-storming scenes that were the stock and trade of Errol Flynn adventures like The Adventure Of Don Juan.

"My brother Eric and I were willing to apply this style of humor and comedy to another kind of film," Nicolas Altmayer tells Screen International. "French cinema has a strong tradition of epic and period movie, and we thought that it will be a great genre to parody."

Screenwriter Jean-François Halin introduced the producers to director Sylvain Fusée, who makes his theatrical debut with the project. "[Fusée] has a strong record in commercials and TV production. He has directed more than 15 years for one of Canal Plus' major comedy programmes, Groland," Altmayer says.

The producers could not find suitable locations in France, however, on in Luxembourg, where they also scouted. "We have many castles, but the main rooms will always be too dark and too small. The stairs will not be exactly what we wanted for the final duel," Altmayer says. "We realized that if we wanted to have the same kind of sets as in these Hollywood movies, the only solution was to shoot in the studio."

With a French shoot not in the budget, the Altmayers met in January of this year with Marc Jenny, a French producer whose Prague-based Okko Productions had previously serviced Legende Films' La Vie En Rose and Fox's Babylon A. …

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