French productions San Sebastián bound
by Fabien Lemercier
20/09/2007 - After an impressive 2006 edition marked by Martial Fougeron’s double winner My Son [trailer] (Golden Shell and Best Actress), French films are once again heading to the Basque country for the 55th San Sebastián Film Festival.
This year’s festival – which opens today – will be devoting a retrospective to Philippe Garrel, while its official competition will host only one Gallic feature: Manuel Poirier’s The House [trailer] (see article), starring Catalan actor Sergi Lopez, Bérénice Béjo (OSS 117), Barbara Schulz and Bruno Salomone.
Hana Makhmalbaf’s Iranian/French piece Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame has also got a competition spot. The title was co-financed by its international sales agent Wild Bunch.
The Inner Life of Martin Frost by US novelist Paul Auster will screen out of competition. The majority French co-production (51%) was made with Portugal (39%) and Spain (10%), headed by Alma Films for a €1.68m budget. Britain’s David Thewlis and French actress Irène Jacob star.
The Zabaltegi-New Directors category is offering L'homme qui marche (“The Man that Walks”) by Aurélia Georges. The €1.16m title was produced by Château-Rouge and funded by CNC advances on receipts, backing from the Centre region and Sofica Arte Cofinova.
The feature debut is being sold by Rendez-Vous Pictures and opens on domestic screens through Shellac on January 9, 2008. Co-productions heading to the Basque festival are Stéphan Carpiaux’s Red Ants [trailer], starring Déborah François (The Child [trailer, film focus], The Page Turner [trailer, film focus]), Frédéric Pierrot, Arthur Jugnot, Julie Gayet and Claire Johnston.
Co-produced by Luxembourg, Belgium and France (Libris Films), the feature debut (sold internationally by Wide Management and former winner of the CNC New Talents Promise Trophy for Best Screenplay) will be distributed in France on November 14 by Jour2Fête.
The Zabaltegi-Pearls programme will also screen a number of French productions straight from Cannes, including Julian Schnabel’s award-winning The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [trailer], Barbet Schroeder’s remarkable documentary Terror’s Advocate [trailer], Nadine Labaki’s refreshing Caramel [trailer] and directing duo Etgar Keret and Shira Geffen’s Caméra d’Or winning Jellyfish [trailer], as well as Best French Film of the year at the 2007 Césars, Pascale Ferran’s Lady Chatterley [trailer].
Lastly, the Special Screenings sidebar is hosting two French documentaries: Jean-Pierre Limosin’s Young Yakuza and Carmen Castillo’s Calle Santa Fé, which was jointly produced by Chile and Belgium.
(Translated from French)