Axelle Ropert gets behind camera for La famille Wolberg
by Fabien Lemercier
08/12/2008 - Axelle Ropert – regular screenwriter for Serge Bozon, for whom she wrote L’amitié (“Friendship”, 1998), Mods (presented at Locarno in 2003) and France [trailer] (unveiled in the 2007 Cannes Director’s Fortnight) – started shooting on Friday on her debut directorial feature: La famille Wolberg (“The Wolberg Family”).
Written by the director, the film centres around the birthday of Delphine (Serre), which shatters the outward appearances of a family who have promised to stay forever close and happy. Delphine demands: "When I turn 18, I want a really special birthday, the best birthday of my life with you."
This is not a whim, but an insistent request and it gives rise to a legitimate agitation and desire to make this her best birthday. It also leads to deeper questions.
Day after day, a series of cracks – some insignificant, others irreparable – begin to appear. A more humorous and painful story gradually unfolds as the celebrations approach.
Produced by David Thion for Les Films Pelléas, La famille Wolberg has a budget of around €2.5m. This includes co-production support from Belgium’s Versus Production, an advance on receipts from the National Film Centre (CNC), pre-sales from TPS and Ciné Cinéma, as well as backing from the Aquitaine region.
The shoot will take place in Bourgogne until December 27, before continuing in Aquitaine from January 5-24. Pyramide will handle domestic distribution and international sales of the film, which may be ready in May 2009.
After the August release of Pierre Schoeller’s Versailles [trailer, film focus], Les Films Pelléas are currently managing post-production on Mia Hansen-Love’s Le père de mes enfants (“The Father of My Children”) and shooting on Jean-Stéphane Bron’s Swiss/French documentary Save the American Dream. The company’s slate also includes Philippe Béziat’s documentary Pelléas et Mélisande, le chant des aveugles (“Pelléas and Mélisande: the Song of the Blind”), which was unveiled at Locarno and will hit screens in the second half of 2009.
(Translated from French)