Magazine article Screen International

Nichols' Mud to Open Deauville Festival of American Film

Magazine article Screen International

Nichols' Mud to Open Deauville Festival of American Film

Article excerpt

Guests of honour include director William Friedkin, who will give masterclass, and prolific Hollywood producer Paula Wagner.

The Deauville Festival of American Film, running August 9 to September 9 this year, has unveiled it line-up of its 38th edition.

Jeff Nichols' Mississippi-set Mud, which premiered in competition in Cannes, will open the festival. The director's second film Take Shelter won the Grand Prize at Deauville last year.

Oliver Stone's drugs drama Savages, which hit US theatres at the beginning of July, will close the festival.

Other pictures due to preview in the festival's Les Premières selection ahead of their official French releases includeThe Bourne Legacy, Ted and Bachelorette.

Olivier Megaton's Taken 2, produced by Luc Besson's Paris-based EuropaCorp, will also preview in the selection ahead of its October release. The festival will also pay homage to star Liam Neeson.

The competition, devoted to first and second films, will feature 14 titles, seven of them premieres. The titles include Benh Zeitlin's Beasts of the Southern Wild, which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera D'Or this year, aimed at the best debut feature across the festival.

Alongside Neeson, Deauville will also pay tribute to actress Salma Hayek, actor Harvey Keitel, composer John Williams, who will be feted with a performance of his music by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Radio France, and director and writer Melvin Van Peebles, who turns eighty this August.

Guests of honour at the festival will include The French Connection and The Exorcist director William Friedkin, who will give a master class on Sept 2, and producer Paula Wagner.

The latter will participate in a panel organised jointly by the Producers Guild of American (PGA) and the French Association of Cinema Producers association (APC) entitled "Producing today: challenges and new means".

She will be joined by French producers Alain Attal of Les Productions du Trésor, who has just come off the New York set of Guillaume Canet's Blood Ties, and Eric Altmayer of Mandarin Cinema will also participate in the discussion.

Other industry-focused initiatives include the Film Corner, a dedicated space where distributors and sales agents can screen festival titles without a French distribution, being run in partnership with online marketplace Cinando this year.

Deauville said the 2011 inaugural edition of the Film Corner helped facilitate the sale of French rights to Matthew Gordon's The Dynamiter to Paris-distributor KMBO, which recently gave the film a July 4 release under the title of Summertime. …

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