Films Distribution picks up Arbid’s Beirut Hotel
by Fabien Lemercier
10/12/2010 - Produced by Les Films Pelléas and Maïa Cinéma, Lebanese director Danielle Arbid’s third narrative feature Beirut Hotel has just been added to French international seller Films Distribution’s dense line-up.
The director, who attracted attention in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2004 with In the Battlefields [trailer] and in 2007 with A Lost Man [trailer], shot her new film between October 1 and November 10. Its cast includes Darine Hamze, Charles Berling (Summer Hours [trailer]), Fadi Abi Samra, Rodney El Haddad and Carole Ammoun.
Penned by Arbid, the script (which was presented at the 2009 Cannes Festival Cinéfondation Workshop) centres on Hind and Mathieu who meet one evening in Beirut. She’s a young Lebanese singer trying to break free from her ex-husband’s grip. He’s a French lawyer on business who despite himself is tracked down and suspected of spying.
Over ten days, they experience a love affair made up of fear and desire, intrigue and violence. Beirut Hotel is a romance on the edge, mirroring a country wavering between war and peace, where at any moment everything could be turned upside down…
Produced by Philippe Martin and David Thion for Les Films Pelléas and Gilles Sandoz for Maïa Cinéma, the film is co-produced by Arte France. It also received support from Swedish fund Film i Väst in partnership with Backup Films, the OIF, Sofica Coficup 5 and Cofinova 7.
Films Distribution’s impressive line-up also includes Céline Sciamma’s Tomboy (see news); Vincent Garenq’s Guilty (see news); Norwegian director Jens Lien’s Theory and Practice; Hélène Angel’s No Trespassing; Djamshed Usmonov’s My Wife’s Romance (see news); Jean-Loup Feliciolli and Alain Gagnol’s animated film A Cat in Paris [trailer] (see news); Café de Flore by Canada’s Jean-Marc Vallée; and Skylab by Julie Delpy (see news).
Other highlights include Mia Hansen-Love’s Goodbye First Love (see news); José Alcala’s Fabienne (see news); House of Tolerance by Bertrand Bonello (see news); We Fought For That by Robert Guédiguian (see news); Nicolas Klotz’s Les Amants (“Lovers”, see news); Philippe Ramos’s Jeanne Captive (“Joan, Prisoner”, see news); Marina Zenovich’s documentary Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out; and the comedies Low Cost by Maurice Barthélémy and A Burning Desire by Bernard Jeanjean (see news).
(Translated from French)