Back to the future for Sam Garbarski
by Aurore Engelen
08/06/2009 - Shooting on Quartier Lointain (“Faraway Neighbourhood”) by Belgian director Sam Garbarski (Irina Palm [trailer, film focus]), is underway this week in Nantua, a small village in Ain, a perfect setting for the historical reconstruction required by the film’s plot.
Thomas, a family man affected by a mid-life crisis, is catapulted into the past, while he wonders about his future. To his amazement, he is reunited with his own father, who left the family home 40 years ago.
Pascal Grégory stars as the present-day protagonist, while young Léo Marchand portrays the same character in 1967. His parents are played by Jonathan Zaccaï and Alexandra Maria Lara.
If the story sounds familiar, that’s because it’s adapted from a cult manga series by Japanese author Jiro Taniguchi. The film is an adaptation, or rather a reinterpretation, according to the director and his two co-screenwriters Jérôme Tonnerre and Philippe Blasband.
The project, which started shooting at the end of May in Luxembourg, has sparked much anticipation. Not only has Taniguchi never been adapted before (although a version of The Almanac of My Father is underway in Japan), but the comic book, which won the award for Best Comic Book Suitable for Film Adaptation at the International Cinema and Literature Forum in Monaco, was also highly sought-after.
In the end, Diana Elbaum’s Brussels-based company Entre Chien et Loup secured the rights from Casterman and is helming the European co-production. Luxembourg’s Samsa, Germany’s Pallas and France’s Archipel 35 are co-producing.
Wild Bunch is managing international sales and French distribution, while Dreamtouch, an offshoot of Entre Chien et Loup, is expected to handle distribution in Benelux.
Shooting on the €9m film – which received backing from numerous institutional funds, including the CCA, Wallimage, RTBF and Eurimages – will wrap up in mid-July. Theatrical release is expected in February 2010.
(Translated from French)