France's CNC grants an advance on receipts for Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Lingui
by Fabien Lemercier
- The CNC will also throw its weight behind films by Leyla Bouzid, Bertrand Mandico, Marie Dumora, Christine Dory and Mathieu Gérault
Six projects have been accepted during the second 2019 session of the CNC’s second advance on receipts committee. Standing out among them is Lingui, which will be Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s 8th feature film following on from his documentary Bye Bye Africa (Special Mention in the Best First Feature Film category in Venice 1999), Our Father (Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight 2002), Daratt – Dry Season (Special Jury Prize in Venice 2006), A Screaming Man (Cannes’ Jury Prize in 2010), Grigris (unveiled in competition on the Croisette in 2013), the documentary Hissein Habré, A Chadian Tragedy (Special Screening within Cannes’ Official Selection 2015) and A Season in France (unveiled at Toronto in 2017).
Lingui tells the story of Amina, a thirty-something artisan who lives on her own with Maria, her only daughter out of fifteen children. As a practicing Muslim, she is shocked to discover her daughter is pregnant. It’s an unwanted pregnancy for the teenager, who has her mind set on an abortion. Amina finds herself faced with a dilemma in a country where abortion isn’t just condemned by religion, it’s also prohibited by law…
Production is headed up by Florence Stern on behalf of Pili Films, while German outfit Made in Germany (Melanie Andernach) are co-producing the full-length title, which is set to be filmed over five weeks in the autumn and which has already received co-production funding from the French-German mini-treaty, as well as support from Canal+, Canal+ Africa, Ciné+, TV5 Monde and Ad Vitam for distribution in France.
The CNC will also throw its weight behind Une histoire d’amour et de désir, the second feature film by Leyla Bouzid on the heels of As I Open My Eyes (Audience Award and Europa Cinemas Label at the Giornate degli Autori in Venice 2015, also screened in Toronto and a finalist for the European Parliament’s LUX Prize). Written by the director herself, the story follows Ahmed, a young French man of Algerian origin, at a crucial point in his sensual awakening. Through his decisive encounter with Farah, a young woman fresh off the boat from Tunis, and his exploration of erotic Arabic literature, he will begin to find freedom and to question the roots which he thinks are his. Produced by Sandra da Fonseca for Blue Monday Productions and benefitting from co-production and presales support from Arte France Cinéma, filming on this title is scheduled to start at the end of August.
An advance on receipts has likewise been awarded to Bertrand Mandico’s Paradis sale, discovered during Critics’ Week in Venice 2017 thanks to The Wild Boys (winner of the 2018 Louis-Delluc Prize for Best First Film and nominated in the same category at the 2019 Lumières Awards). His new film is set to be just as bonkers as its predecessor, given that the plot unfolds in a mythical future world on After Blue. This is a planet located in another galaxy; an unchartered planet where only women are able to survive in the inoffensive flora and fauna that surrounds them. Production is headed up by Emmanuel Chaumet on behalf of Ecce Films.
Yet another advance on receipts will go to L'appel de la forêt, Marie Dumora’s upcoming documentary whose filmography already comprises seven full-length films, including the recent works Belinda (unveiled in the Panorama section of the 2017 Berlinale and a participant in the Cannes ACID programme of that same year) and Forbach Swing (unveiled last month at the Cinéma du Réel Film Festival). Justin Taurand is leading the film’s production on behalf of Les Films du Bélier.
Last but not least, another second feature film has been selected: Sentinelle sud by Mathieu Gérault, on which shooting is due to commence this autumn, with Niels Schneider leading the cast. Production will be headed up by David Coujard for Agat Films.
(Translated from French)
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