Hélène Cases • Lionceau Films
by Fabien Lemercier
24/04/2012 - With Alix Delaporte’s Angèle et Tony [trailer], the first feature film produced by her compan,y Lionceau Film, Hélène Cases has got off to a remarkable start. Unveiled at the Venice Critics’ Week in 2010, the film reached 225,000 admissions in France, was sold internationally to 25 countries and won two César Awards in2012 (Most Promising Young Actress for Clotilde Hesme and Most Promising Young Actor for Grégory Gadebois).
Cineuropa : What have been the main stages of your career as a producer ?
Hélène Cases : I learnt my trade at Why Not where I produced several films, including Peau d’homme, cœur de bête (Golden Leopard at Locarno in 1999) and two shorts by Alix Delaporte (notably Comment on freine dans une descente, Golden Lion in Venice in 2006) who asked me to produce her first feature. I created Lionceau Films in 2008 because I wanted to spread my own wings, to take my own risks.
Did you ever imagine such a big success for Angèle et Tony?
Not at all, but I had high hopes that the film would be able to win over an audience since Alix Delaporte works on emotions. We were also lucky to have Pyramide as a distributor and international vendor because they were very much involved in the artistic side and released the film with great panache.
Is it easy to fund a first feature?
Without the advance on receipts from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC), we would not have been able to make the film. It formed the basis of funding for a first feature "without casting" and with a story which on paper was not necessarily that easy. We also had to be convincing about Grégory Gadebois, who was totally unknown to the funders. But Pyramide soon joined us and a distributor is key to instilling confidence in TV channels. Then Canal + and Ciné+ went along with it, but we started production in spite of the fact that the pre-sales had not been made yet. And let’s not forget the Sofica Cofinova. But on the whole, you could say that it’s been easy.
What kind of films would you like to produce?
I would like to work on personal features, that is to say, art-house films, but ones geared towards the public, which invite people to go to the cinema. I am in the process of financing and developing several projects, notably Frédéric Proust’s Les belles années (starring Patrick Chesnais and François Berléand) and Alix Delaporte’s second feature film, which will be another moving story. I am also developing Keren Marciano’s (who had made the short Mémoires d’une jeune fille dérangée) first feature film, with Sarah Giraudeau, for a romantic musical comedy about a 25 year-old girl who is still a virgin. And there is also Hélène Angel’s fourth feature, which will be quite a funny film about the story of a woman and 40 year-old teacher who is going through a crisis.
What is Lionceau Films’ growth strategy?
For now, I’d like to maintain fairly reasonable rhythms of production and budget levels, ones I can manage. I spent a lot of time on Angèle et Tony, so the other projects will soon reach maturity. But I’ll see how the future pans out because I also have some very different and even more ambitious ideas.
Producers on the move is an initiative of the EUROPEAN FILM PROMOTION