Maïmouna Doucouré arouses curiosity with Cuties
by Fabien Lemercier
- The feature debut by the filmmaker, who was festooned with awards worldwide with her short Maman(s), is being staged by Bien ou Bien Productions and sold by Bac Films
Announced by Bac Films at the start of the year as a new title on its international sales slate, after a months-long media embargo, Cuties, the feature debut by Maïmouna Doucouré, which is currently nearing the end of the post-production process and whose screenplay won a Global Filmmaking Award at Sundance in 2017, is piquing an enormous amount of interest. It’s worth noting that the filmmaker found herself in the glare of myriad spotlights with her short film Maman(s), which was presented at more than 150 international festivals, scooping 47 awards to boot (including Best Short Film at Toronto in 2015 and a Jury Prize at Sundance in 2016), plus a César Award in its respective category in 2017.
The cast of Cuties includes Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi, Medina El Aidi, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas, Myriam Hamma, Demba Diaw and Maïmouna Gueye (The Climb [+see also:
film profile]). The story, written by Maïmouna Doucouré, in conjunction with Alice Winocour (César Award for Best Screenplay in 2016 for Mustang [+see also:
interview: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
film profile]), Valentine Milville and Nathalie Saugeon (My Revolution [+see also:
film profile]), revolves around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who joins a group of dancers named “the cuties” at school, and rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity – upsetting her mother and her values in the process.
Produced by Zangro for Bordeaux-based outfit Bien ou Bien Productions (which previously partnered up with the director on her short film), Cuties was co-produced by France 3 Cinéma. Having been pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the feature has also received backing from the CNC via the advance on receipts and the Images of Diversity fund, from the Ile-de-France and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions, and from Procirep. The 52-day shoot took place in Paris and the Paris region last year, starting in the height of the summer and wrapping on 30 October. The French distribution will be handled by Bac Films, which is also in charge of the international sales.
(Translated from French)
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