Why Not aims for the stars again on the Croisette
by Fabien Lemercier
- The Paris-based production company is in a very strong position with Arnaud Desplechin as the opening film, and Lynne Ramsay and Andrey Zvyagintsev in the running for the Palme d'Or
After a 2016 edition that saw it pick up the Palme d'Or with Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake [+see also:
film profile] and the Best Director Award for Cristian Mungiu’s Graduation [+see also:
Q&A: Cristian Mungiu
film profile], two of its co-productions, Paris-based outfit Why Not Productions will soon be making a return to the Croisette with some solid ambitions and three films in the Official Selection of the 70th Cannes Film Festival (17-28 May).
The outfit managed by Pascal Caucheteux and Grégoire Sorlat has produced Ismael’s Ghosts by Arnaud Desplechin, which will open Cannes out of competition. The ninth feature-length fiction film by the award-festooned director stars Mathieu Amalric, Marion Cotillard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Louis Garrel, Italy’s Alba Rohrwacher and Lázló Szabó, as well as Hippolyte Girardot, Jacques Nolot, Catherine Mouchet, Samir Guesmi and Bruno Todeschini. Written by Arnaud Desplechin together with Julie Peyr and Léa Mysius, the story kicks off when, just before the shoot for his new movie, a filmmaker’s life is turned upside down by the return of a lost love... The film had a budget of €5.9 million, including co-productions by France 2 Cinéma, Le Pacte (which will handle the French theatrical release from 17 May) and Wild Bunch (which is in charge of the international sales). Having been pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the feature has also been backed by the CNC’s advance on receipts, Pictanovo and the Ile-de-France region.
Why Not can also boast two films that will be unveiled in competition at Cannes. The firm executive-produced You Were Never Really Here by Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (produced with Page 114, supported by the UK’s Film4 and BFI, purchased by Amazon Studios for the USA, sold by Vincent Maraval for Insiders and set to be distributed in France by SND) and co-produced Loveless by Russia’s Andrey Zvyagintsev (with Russia, Arte France Cinéma for France, Les Films du Fleuve for Belgium and Senator for Germany; French distribution by Pyramide; international sales by Wild Bunch).
Interestingly, Why Not also recently minority co-produced Ice Mother [+see also:
film profile] by Czech director Bodhan Sláma (which will have its international premiere in competition at Tribeca this coming Sunday) and Drôle de père by Belgium’s Amélie Van Elmbt (see the article).
In terms of titles in post-production, the company is also working on Legend of Black Snake by and starring Thomas Ngijol, which portrays the extraordinary adventures of Clotaire Sangala, a man who transforms into a superhero to fight crime and injustice in Africa in the 1970s.
Lastly, Why Not is preparing the summertime shoots for Bécassine by Bruno Podalydès and The Sisters Brothers by Jacques Audiard (the filmmaker’s first English-language movie, set to star Joaquin Phoenix, John C Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed).
(Translated from French)