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VENICE 2007 Sidebar sections / France

Mouret, Gomis and Lespert top bill


French cinema will be making its presence felt in the sidebar sections of the 64th Venice Film Festival, which opens today, with five local productions selected.

First up, the fourth edition of the Venice Days sidebar will present four Gallic productions: Emmanuel Mouret’s Un baiser s’il vous plait [+see also:
film profile
, Andalucia [+see also:
film review
film profile
by Alain Gomis, Frédéric Fisbach’s La Pluie des prunes and Philippe Aractingi’s Sous les bombes [+see also:
film profile
, while the 22nd Venice Critics’ Week has selected Jalil Lespert’s24 mesures.

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Starring a cast composed of the director alongside Virginie Ledoyen, Julie Gayet, Michael Cohen, Frédérique Bel and Stefano Accorsi, Mouret’s Un baiser s’il vous plait (see news) was produced by Moby Dick Films on a €2.8m budget, which included co-production and pre-sales support from Arte France Cinéma, pre-sales from Canal +, the Ile-de-France region (€318,000) and backing from the Pays-de-Loire region.

TFM will handle French distribution on December 12.

Gomis – a winner of a Leopard for Best First Film at the 2001 Locarno Film Festival for L'Afrance – will be unveiling his second feature in Venice, Andalucia (see article), starring Samir Guesmi, Delphine Zingg, Djolof Mbengue, Irène Montala and Olivier Loustau.

Produced by Mille et une productions and co-produced by Spain’s Mallerich Films, the €1.86m film received advances on receipts of €450,000 and €140,000 from Centre Images.

Filmed in Japan, Fisbach’s La Pluie des prunes featuring Gilbert Melki, Adriana Asti and Marie Riva, was produced by Shilo Films in association with 2.1 Films and co-produced by Arte France. The script was penned by the director (also active in theatre) and Anne-Louise Trividic.

Venice Days will also screen Philippe Aractingi’s Sous les bombes, a French/British/Lebanese co-production shot last summer during the Israeli/Lebanese conflict. The €1.5m production from the slate of Capa Cinéma, Starfield Productions, Art’Mell and Fantascope Production was produced in association with Rhamsa Productions and with the participation of Arte France.

Meanwhile, Critics’ Week will host the debut feature by actor-director Lespert. Produced by WY Productions , 24 mesures (see news) stars Benoit Magimel, Lubna Azabal, Sami Bouajila, Bérangère Allaux and Archie Shepp.

Backed by a co-production from MK2 (who will release it theatrically on October 3), the title also received CNC advances on receipts for post-production (€152,000).

(Translated from French)

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