Bayona takes on Salomé and Assayas
by Fabien Lemercier
Twelve new releases will start competing today for audience figures in French theatres, as six European features hit screens, including a trio of favourites: Olivier Assayas’ Summer Hours, Jean-Paul Salomé’s Female Agents and Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Orphanage [+see also:
Other releases this Wednesday include a Hong Kong title and five US productions, including Be Kind Rewind by French director Michel Gondry (EuropaCorp Distribution).
French productions made on a whole range of budgets will grace screens, starting with Female Agents, made for €19.4m. Distributed by TFM, the film with a European cast (Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu, Marie Gillain, Maya Sansa, Déborah François, Moritz Bleibtreu and Volker Bruch) was produced by La Chauve-Souris and received €2.15m in financial backing from TF1 Films Production.
MK2 are launching on 160 screens their production Summer Hours, directed by Assayas. Starring Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling and Jérémie Renier, the €4.8m film received €850,000 in pre-sales and co-production support from France 3 Cinéma and €419,000 in financial backing from the Ile-de-France region.
Eurozoom are releasing Alain Gomis' Andalucia [+see also:
film profile], which was lauded in the Venice Days section of the 2007 Venice Film Festival and whose leading actor Samir Guesmi won an award at the Namur Film Festival.
Made for €1.86m, the film – which received an advance on receipts from the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) and financial backing from the Centre region – has not been bought by any television channel.
But this week’s major release is undoubtedly Bayona’s The Orphanage which was unveiled in the Critics’ Week at Cannes and enjoyed enormous domestic box-office success. The title is being launched on French screens by Wild Bunch Distribution.
Finally, this week also sees the release of European production Liscio, la musique de ma mère (“Smooth, the Music of my Mother”) by Italian director Claudio Antonini, starring Laura Morante (distribution Les Films de l’Astre).
(Translated from French)
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