Country Focus: France
Women directors win over CNC committee
by Fabien Lemercier
18/12/2009 - The last 2009 session of the second advances on receipts committee of the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC) confirms a trend noticed in October (see news): many women directors are emerging at the forefront of the industry with the selection of another four screenplays for debut features by female filmmakers.
The pledge of an advance on receipts has been made to Fleur Albert’s Stalingrad Lovers, which explores the themes of drugs and social exclusion through a retrospective investigation structured around the lives of ten drug-users who live between the Stalingrad and Goutte d’Or areas of Paris. The common thread is the character of Mehdi, a crack user who died in the street.
In an enclosed location and single setting, the ten characters piece together the “imagined” fragments of the life of this dead man. They travel through the mental and physical space of his chaotic daily existence, dream with him of another life and set out in search of his lost childhood. This project, which straddles fiction and documentary, is helmed by La Huit Production and has been developed with backing from Centre Images, the MEDIA Programme, Procirep and Lower Normandy’s Maison de l'Image.
The committee also selected Stéphanie Girerd’s Initiation, which is headed by 31 Juin Films. Nora Arnezeder and Sara Forestier are expected to star in this tale of rivalry between two sisters. Bullied during childhood by her elder sister, the younger sister returns to her family in Senegal, where she will use magic, beliefs and local customs to overturn the situation and gain the upper hand.
An advance on receipts will also go to Des Morceaux de Moi (“Pieces of Me”), produced by Tobik Productions and directed by 31-year-old Rennes-born filmmaker Nolwenn Lemesle, who attracted attention with her shorts Featherweight and Sid; and to Emmanuelle Millet’s La Brindille (“Twig”), which doesn’t yet have a producer.
Finally, the pledge of an advance on receipts has been renewed for Italian director Daniele Incalcaterra’s documentary El Impenetrable (produced by Les Films d’ici).