Magazine article Screen International

German and French Film Producers Meet to Discuss Projects at Paris Rendezvous

Magazine article Screen International

German and French Film Producers Meet to Discuss Projects at Paris Rendezvous

Article excerpt

A dramatic comedy with Holocaust survivors, a horror film set in Morocco and a Balkan Romeo and Juliet love story were among 25 projects presented to potential production partners at this year's German-French Film Meeting in Paris (Nov 23-24).

Denis Carot and Chloe Souchet of Elzevir Films were looking for a German partner to start the financing structure for their [euro]5.8m Auschwitz - Les Bains, to be written and directed by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann [pictured] about three former deported women to the death camp in Auschwitz who decide to go on holiday together 25 years after the end of the Second World War.

Angelika Schouler of Glaam Media Invest was in Paris to pitch the [euro]4m Leaving Sarajevo by Claudio Faeh which is based on the true love story of the Bosnian Muslim Admira Ismic and the Serb Bosko Brkic who tragically died in the Balkan war in 1993. Their deaths became a sad symbol of the senseless civil war and the couple became known as the 'Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo.'

Meanwhile, Munich-based producer Rose-Marie Couture of the recently created Reel Couture told ScreenDaily that she had a "good response" and "concrete interest" to her presentation of French Canadian Lewis-Martin Soucy's debut feature La Bete which already has Hicham Hajji and Hamad Herraf's Casablanca-based H-Films onboard as co-producer.

Described as "a classic, suspenseful horror film with a mysterious, threatening creature", La Bete is due to be shot at locations in Morocco in 2012 with an ensemble cast which already has French actors Marc Andreoni, Julien Oliveri and Jean-Christophe Bouvet as well as Moroccan actors Mourad Zaoui and Khalid Maadour and well-known local musician Younes Megri attached.

The projects ranged from Félix von Boehm's [euro]350,000 documentary portrait of the veteran French producer Marin Karmitz through two animation films - Sacrebleu Productions' [euro]8m Longway North (Tout en Haut du Monde) by Rémi Chayé and Manny Films' [euro]12m father-son 3D comedy Ziggy by Oscar-nominated director Samuel Tourneux - to Mes Films' $15m drama Tina - A Dangerous Life about the engimatic photographer, artist and activist Tina Modotti which has already attracted Mexico's Naofilms and Italy's Jean Vigo as co-production partners.

In addition, Sven Schnell of Stuttgart-based make a move was looking for French partners for Brazilian filmmaker Alex Carvalho's drama La Salamandre based on the book of the same name by Jean-Christophe Rufin, while actor Christopher Buchholz pitched his bittersweet vampire comedy To Bite Or Not To Bite which he describes as "a mixture of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Witches Of Eastwick and The Royal Tenenbaums." The English-language film would be Buchholz's fiction film debut as director after co-directing the documentary Horst Buchholz...mein Papa in 2005.

Meanwhile, Cologne-based producers Jonas Katzenstein and Maximilian Leo of augenschein Filmproduktion told ScreenDaily that the project they pitched at last year's Film Meeting in Heidelberg, the feature documentary Tour du Faso, has recently finished shooting in Burkina Faso and is now in postproduction.

The project by Wilm Huygen, a graduate from Cologne's Academy for Media Arts (KHM), about Africa's biggest cycling race across the desert had found its French partners - producers La Huit and distributor Jour de Fete - during the Film Meeting and had been able to access funding from Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the German Federal Film Board (FFA), the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF) and France's CNC.

Titles: Auschwitz - Les Bains, La Bete, Longway North (Tout en Haut du Monde), Ziggy, Tour du Faso, Die andere Heimat, The Nun (La Religieuse)

The German-French Film Meeting was organised for the ninth time by uniFrance films and German Films with their partners, and this year gave the 300 participants from Germany, France and further afield an opportunity to reflect on the first ten years of the German-French "mini-traité" co-production fund since its signing in Cannes in 2001. …

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