Magazine article Screen International

Venice 2011: Competition Profiles

Magazine article Screen International

Venice 2011: Competition Profiles

Article excerpt

Screen gears up for the Venice Film Festival's 2011 edition, which promises to kickstart the annual awards season.Competition4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH (US)

Dir Abel Ferrara

Ferrara won the Special Jury Prize at Venice in 2005 with Mary, and the director returns to the Lido with a drama about the final hours of a Manhattan couple as they face the end of the world. 4:44 was produced by Fabula, Funny Balloons and Wild Bunch, and stars Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh and Paz de la Huerta.

Sales Funny Balloons - pdanner@funny-balloons.com; Wild Bunch - edevos@wildbunch.euALPS (Gr)

Dir Yorgos Lanthimos

Dogtooth, Lanthimos' exploration of an isolated Greek family, was awarded the top Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes in 2009 and went on to earn a foreign-language Oscar nomination. Interest in his follow-up will be high. Alps (Alpeis) tells the story of a nurse, a paramedic, a gymnast and her coach, who have formed a company called Alps and stand in for dead people by appointment.

Sales The Match Factory - info@matchfactory.deCARNAGE (Fr-Ger-Sp-Pol)

Dir Roman Polanski

A change of gear for Polanski after The Ghost Writer (aka The Ghost). Carnage, based on a French play by Yasmina Reza, is a comedy about two families who meet after their sons are involved in a schoolyard brawl. The cast includes Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C Reilly, so the film will be a major attraction on the Lido. Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American rights. It is produced and sold by Said Ben Said's SBS Productions.

Sales SBS Productions - k.chneiweiss@sbs-productions.comCHICKEN WITH PLUMS (Fr-Bel-Ger)

Dirs Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud

Satrapi and Paronnaud chalked up an Oscar nomination for their animation Persepolis in 2008, and interest is high in their live-action follow-up. Like Persepolis, Chicken With Plums is based on a graphic novel by Satrapi, about a celebrated violin player in Tehran, 1958, who gives up on life after his instrument is broken. Isabella Rossellini and Mathieu Amalric star in the film, which shot at Studio Babelsberg in Germany and was produced by Celluloid Dreams, The Manipulators and others. The film has been presold to France, Benelux, Germany and Switzerland.

Sales Celluloid Dreams/Studio 37 - info@celluloid-dreams.comA DANGEROUS METHOD (Ger-Can)

Dir David Cronenberg

A film about the fathers of psychoanalysis from Cronenberg is an intriguing proposition, and seller HanWay has already closed deals with Sony Pictures Classics for the US, Lionsgate for the UK as well as UPI for multiple territories. Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender and Vincent Cassel star in the film, about a beautiful patient who seduces Carl Jung and his mentor, Sigmund Freud. Produced by Jeremy Thomas, Christopher Hampton adapted the screenplay from his own play.

Sales HanWay Films - info@hanwayfilms.comDARK HORSE (US)

Dir Todd Solondz

Solondz's Life During Wartime won the screenplay prize at Venice in 2009. He returns this year with Dark Horse, a film about a thirtysomething man with arrested development who falls for a thirtysomething woman -- but moving out of his junior high-school bedroom proves too much. Tragedy ensues. The film stars Jordan Gelber and Selma Blair, alongside Mia Farrow, Christopher Walken, Justin Bartha and Donna Murphy. It was produced by Ted Hope and Derrick Tseng. Goldcrest Films has closed deals to Australia and New Zealand (Village Roadshow) and Scandinavia (Svensk), among others.

Sales Goldcrest Films International - raboulela@goldcrestfilms.comTHE EXCHANGE (Isr-Ger)

Dir Eran Kolirin

Kolirin's debut feature The Band's Visit was an international breakout in 2007, and the director returns with an existential drama about a middle-aged man who goes home in the middle of the day and finds everything has changed. Produced by Eilon Ratzkovsky's July August Productions and co-produced by Germany's Pandora Filmproduktion, The Exchange (Hahithalfut) was shot largely in Germany. …

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