Magazine article Screen International

Les Arcs Unveils Co-Pro and In-Progress Titles

Magazine article Screen International

Les Arcs Unveils Co-Pro and In-Progress Titles

Article excerpt

Fitzgibbon, Sitaru, Vicari, Huddles, Runarsson and van Geffen will be at Les Arcs this December.

Ireland's Ian Fitzgibbon, Romania's Adrian Sitaru, Iceland's Runar Runarsson (pictured), Italy's Daniele Vicari and America's John Huddles are among the directors who will be presenting their new projects at the Les Arcs Co-production village this year.

The event, which runs Dec 14-17 within France's alpine, Sundance-style Les Arcs European Film Festival (Dec 14-21), unveiled the production line-up on Thursday as well as the productions that will be presented in the Works in Progress section on Dec 15.

This year's co-pro selection mixes upcoming productions from established independent filmmakers with a slew of projects from feted shorts directors who are embarking on their first features.

"We pretty proud of this year's line-up. There's a lot of projects I would be seriously looking at if I were going to Les Arcs in a professional capacity rather than as one of the organisers," said festival co-founder Pierre Emmanuel Fleurantin, who produces under the Paprika Film banner in Paris.

Les Arcs head of industry Vanja Kaludjercic noted that they had received 250 submissions this year, against 150 last year and 80 in 2011.

"Selection was a really difficult task this year. We received so many really strong projects," she said.

In another sign of the events growing stature a number of key players in the European sales and production scene have already signed up for the event including Indie Sales chief Nicholas Eschbach, Arte Cinema's Remi Burah, SND's Lionel Uzan, HanWay's Fabien Westerhoff, Protagonist Pictures' Mike Goodridge and Fox International Production's Anna Kokourina.Established directors

Established directors with projects include Romanian Adrian Sitaru with The Fixer about a TV fixer with journalistic ambitions who turns to unscrupulous methods when he is given a chance to report a story on juvenile prostitution.

Ian Fitzgibbon's will hit the alpine event with I'll Take Care of It about the unlikely relationship between a reserved hotel concierge and a down-on-his luck banker. Icelandic filmmaker Runar Runarsson, who won a slew of his awards for his debut feature Volcano in 2012, will present Sparrows about a teenager who goes to live in a town in rural Iceland with his alcoholic father for the summer.

Daniele Vicari will attend with Long Way Down, based on the true story of a disastrous Italian-French expedition to scale Mont Blanc's Freney Pillar in 1961. It features a script co-written with Massimo Gaudioso who collaborated on Gomorrah.

US director John Huddles will be at the market with Luxembourg-produced Appetite about an extreme meat chef who ends up at odds with his vegan daughter over his penchant for zebra, swan and fruit bat meat.Feature-length first-timers

There are seven first-time feature projects from up and coming directors, most of whom have been already been feted for their shorts.

"We wanted to push what we consider to be talents of tomorrow. We're taking a risk if you like but at the same time the directors we've selected aren't exactly unknown, there's an Oscar and a Palme d'Or winner in there," said Fleurantin.

First feature projects include French Clément Cogitore with The Wakhan Front (Le Front du Wakhan) about an ill-fated French mission in Afghanistan. Jacques Audiard collaborator Thomas Bidegain co-wrote the script.New French indies out in force

The Wakhan Front is produced by Kazak Productions, one of the hottest, up and coming production outfits in France at the moment. Having produced some 30 shorts, the company recently branched out into feature-length fare, kicking off with the shoot of Vincent Mariette's debut feature comedy Sadness Club over the summer.

"We've already found co-producers in the shape of Komplizen Film from Germany and Belgian Tarantula. We will be looking for a French distributor and international sales company at Les Arcs," commented co-founder Jean-Christophe Reymond. …

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