French contingent hits the Lido
by Fabien Lemercier
01/09/2010 - The 67th Venice Film Festival kicks off today and French cinema has pride of place, with no fewer than 22 productions and co-productions gracing the line-up. Four of these are favourites for the Golden Lion, a prize not awarded to a French film since 1993 for production (Krzystof Kieslowski’s Three Colours: Blue) and since 1987 for French directors (Louis Malle’s Au revoir les enfants). Gallic favourites at Venice include: Abdellatif Kechiche’s Venus noire [trailer, film focus], François Ozon’s Potiche [trailer], Antony Cordier’s Happy Few [trailer] (see article) and Miral [trailer] by Julian Schnabel, a three-way Pathé production between Israel, Italy and India).
Three French minority co-productions also feature in competition, We Believed [trailer, film focus] by Italian director Mario Martone (co-produced by Les Films d’Ici), The Solitude of Prime Numbers [trailer] by fellow Italian Saverio Costanzo (produced by Les Films des Tournelles) and Spanish helmer Alex de la Iglesia’s Sad Trumpet Ballad [trailer, film focus] (co-produced by La Fabrique 2). French outfit Pathé is also in the spotlight, having financed Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere.
Out-of-competition highlights include French co-production (Babe Films) Vallanzasca [trailer] by Italian helmer Michele Placido, while the Horizons section will open with Catherine Breillat’s Sleeping Beauty. The same programme includes French-Portuguese co-production Dharma Guns [trailer] by F.J. Ossang (see article), El Sicario, room 164 [trailer] by Gianfranco Rosi (produced by Les Films d’Ici), as well as two minority productions, documentaries Zelal by directing duo Marianne Khoury and Mustapha Hasnaoui (co-produced by 3B Productions) and We are communists (a Les Films d’Ici co-production).
Bertrand Blier’s The Clink of Ice [trailer] (see article) will open Venice Days, while the selection will also unveil another French majority production (The Place in Between by Sarah Bouyain), as well as three minority productions, Scorched [trailer] by Canadian helmer Denis Villeneuve (co-produced by TS Productions) and two co-productions from ASAP Films (Danis Tanovic’s Cirkus Columbia [trailer, film focus] and Marion Hänsel’s Ocean Black [trailer]). Also lined up is Illegal [trailer, film focus] by Belgian helmer Olivier Masset-Depasse (a French co-production from Dharamsala), one of the three finalists of the European Parliament’s Prix Lux.
(Translated from French)