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PRODUCTION France

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Glorious spring ahead for Mille et Une Productions

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While Alain Gomis’s Andalucia [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- which was lauded in the Venice Days section at the Venice Film Festival (see special report) – prepares for its theatrical release on Wednesday, Paris-based company Mille et Une Productions are set to turn things up a notch this spring.

Two titles in post-production will in fact be ready in May for a possible screening at Cannes (I Want to See by directorial duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige and Ilan Duran Cohen’s Le plaisir de chanter). Moreover, in April shooting will begin on Mehdi Ben Attia’s debut feature, Le fil (“The Thread”).

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Loyal partner of Lebanese filmmakers Hadjithomas and Joreige (Around the Pink House, A Perfect day [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), the team at Mille et Une Productions (composed of Édouard Mauriat, Anne-Cécile Berthomeau and Farès Ladjimi) are now backing I Want to See, a road-movie set in Lebanon after the bombing.

Interweaving fiction and reality, the film follows Catherine Deneuve who plays herself in the role of a film star. Visiting Beirut for an official ceremony, the actress decides to accompany a local actor (Rabih Mroué) on a trip to the south and the village of Rabih which was destroyed during the war.

Co-produced by Abbout Productions, the film is lensed by Julien Hirsch (2007 Cesar for Lady Chatterley [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
).

Another Cannes hopeful is Le plaisir de chanter (“The Pleasure of Singing”), the fourth feature by Duran Cohen, the filmmaker who first attracted attention with Confusion of Genders (2001 Cesar nomination for Best Actor for Pascal Greggory) and The Grand Sons (prize-winner in the Horizons section at the Venice Film Festival 2004).

Starring Marina Foïs, Lorànt Deutsch, Jeanne Balibar, Julien Baumgartner, Nathalie Richard, Caroline Ducey and Dominique Reymond, the film – which was co-written by the director, Philippe Lasry and Noémie Lvovsky - retraces the misadventures of two policemen as they try to solve the disappearance of a 10 year-old wannabe star. Their investigation leads them into the extraordinary world of singers adored by hysterical, prepubescent girls. The soundtrack is made up of French cover versions of international hits.

Produced with financial backing in the form of an advance on receipts from the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC), Le plaisir de chanter will be distributed domestically by Pyramide, who are also handling international sales.

Mille et Une Productions’ 2008 line-up also includes Ben Attia’s Le fil which is set to start shooting next month in Tunisia.

This debut feature - by the man who co-wrote André Téchiné’s Far Away and Zina Modiano’s Private Life - stars Claudia Cardinale, Mehdi Nebbou and Salim Kechiouche as a trio involving a mother, her son and the son’s lover and is set in a large house with a swimming pool.

The film – which focuses on loneliness, desire and the memories of a now absent father – is being made on a budget of around €2.16m, including a €450,000 advance on receipts from the CNC.

(Translated from French)

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