From Binoche to Robbe-Grillet
by Fabien Lemercier
Aside from the 10 French productions and co-productions competing for the Golden Lion (see news), the Official Selection of the 63rd Venice International Film Festival, opening tomorrow on the Lido, includes seven other French films.
Important out-of-competition titles are: The Magic Flute [+see also:
film profile] by UK helmer Kenneth Branagh (an Ideale Audience production, sales by Celluloid Dreams) and A Few Days in September [+see also:
film profile] by Santiago Amigorena (see article).
Starring Juliette Binoche, John Turturro, Sara Forestier and Nick Nolte, the French/Italian production from Gemini Films (90%) – who will handle the film’s French and international distribution – carried a budget of €5.27m, including advances in receipts from the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), co-production and pre-sales financing of €900,000 from France 2 Cinéma, as well as pre-sales from Canal + and TPS.
Also featuring out of competition is Belle toujours [+see also:
film profile] by Portugal’s Manoel de Oliveira, a French minority co-production from Les Films d'Ici, sold internationally by Paris-based Onoma.
Meanwhile, It's Gradiva Who Is Calling You [+see also:
film profile] by the founding father of the Nouveau Roman literary movement, Alain Robbe-Grillet, will have a special screening in the Special Events section. Oscar-nominated in 1961 for the script of Alain Resnais’ Last Year in Marienbad, the novelist has also received five nominations as Best Director in competition at Berlin, including for his previous title The Blue Villa (1995).
Produced by Les Films du lendemain (80%), It's Gradiva Who Is Calling You was co-produced by Belgian outfit Z. Company and Arte France Cinéma. Funded by advances in receipts from the CNC and Eurimages, the film is being sold internationally by Wide Management.
Three French co-productions feature in the Horizons section: Raffle Me by Brazil’s Karim Aïnouz (co-produced and sold by Celluloid Dreams), the documentary I Am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave by Syrian directing duo Hala Alabdalla Yakoub and Ammar Al Beik Siria (a Les Films d’Ici co-production) and Roma Rather Than You by Algeria’s Tariq Teguia, co-produced by INA and Germany’s Flying Moon, with backing from the Conseil général du Val de Marne and Fonds Sud Cinéma.
International sales outfits also hope to do good business, with three other titles presented in Official Selection, in particular Inland Empire by David Lynch. StudioCanal, who holds the international distribution rights to the film to be screened out of competition in Venice, will handle the film’s French distribution through Mars Distribution in early 2007, and through its branch Optimum Releasing in the UK.
Projects from Wild Bunch include Gedo senki, an animation film selected out of competition and scripted by Goro Miyazaki, the son of Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki.
(Translated from French)