Coproduction Office selling Play, Blue Bird
by Fabien Lemercier
06/05/2011 - Focusing on European directors, originality and a targeted line-up strategy, Coproduction Office will be hoping for success at the Film Market at the 64th Cannes Film Festival (May 11-22) with two features selected in the Directors’ Fortnight.
The team headed by Philippe Bober (see interview 2010) will sell Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s Play [trailer, film focus] (photo), continuing a collaboration that began in 2008 with Involuntary [trailer, film focus] (unveiled in the Un Certain Regard). Play has been described as startling and hypnotic by the Directors’ Fortnight delegate general Frédéric Boyer.
Inspired by real-life events, the film centres on a group of black teenagers in Gothenburg who bully other children into giving them money, without physical violence, but by using sophisticated role play known as the "little brother trick". Co-produced by France and Denmark, the film was initiated by Sweden’s Plattform Produktion .
The second feature Coproduction Office has in the Directors’ Fortnight is brilliant Belgian director Gust Van den Berghe’s Blue Bird [trailer] (see news). This loose adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck’s 1911 stage play The Blue Bird is set in Africa and centres on two children.
Coproduction Office will also negotiate sales for French director Bertrand Mandico’s medium-length film Boro In The Box, also in the Directors’ Fortnight; and Bologne Cinematheque’s restored version of Roberto Rosselini’s 1952 film The Machine To Kill Bad People (La Macchina Ammazzacattivi), which will be shown in the Cannes Classics section.
Finally, among those titles still in production, the company is selling Ila Khrzhanovsky’s highly anticipated Russian/German/French/Swedish co-production Dau, which traces the misfortunes of a brilliant, epicurean physicist who has to grapple with the Soviet system.
(Translated from French)