Attractive scoops for Diaphana
by Fabien Lemercier
27/06/2007 - French outfit Diaphana is in the spotlight today, with its release on 199 French screens of Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s animated film Persepolis [trailer, film focus], winner of the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May (see Focus).
Persepolis is the third animated title to be distributed by Michel Saint-Jean’s outfit after previous hits Sylvain Chomet’s The Triplets of Belleville [trailer] (released in 2003 on 242 prints, 827,000 admissions) and Michel Ocelot’s Azur & Asmar [trailer] (released October 2006 on 551 screens, 1.76m filmgoers).
The 13th most important distributor in France in 2006 (3.8m admissions for 13 films), Diaphana is one of the main promoters of quality European films, with releases in recent years featuring the Dardenne brothers’ The Child [trailer, film focus], Lucas Belvaux’s The Right of the Weakest [trailer], Isabel Coixet’s The Secret Life of Words [trailer, film focus], Michel Spinosa’s Anna M. [trailer], Cécile Telerman’s Tout pour plaire [trailer] and Eric Caravaca’s The Passenger [trailer], and not forgetting more recent hits, such as Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley [trailer, film focus] (941,000 admissions) and Philip Gröning’s remarkable German documentary Into Great Silence [trailer, film focus] (248,000).
The strategy is proving a profitable one, with upcoming releases including Lady Jane [trailer] (see news), the next film by Robert Guédiguian, Hiner Saleem’s Sous les toits de Paris and collective animated film Peur(s) du noir (“Afraid of the Dark”).
A regular co-producer of features it distributes, Diaphana sometimes handles executive production, an activity it first began with Dominique Moll’s With a Friend Like Harry and continued with Lemming [trailer] by the same director; Denis Dercourt’s The Page Turner [trailer, film focus]; Manuel Poirier’s La maison (see article, out August 22, 2007); and Safy Nebbou’s L’empreinte de l’ange (“The Angel’s Footprint”), starring Sandrine Bonnaire and Catherine Frot, slated to begin lensing in August.
(Translated from French)