Two contenders for the Golden Lion at Venice for Celluloid Dreams
by Fabien Lemercier
- On the Lido, the French company will be selling The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul and Babyteeth by Shannon Murphy, spearheading a rich line-up of projects
French international sales company Celluloid Dreams is heading back to the Lido with a bang, counting two films up for the Golden Lion of the 76th Venice International Film Festival (28 August-7 September) in its line-up: The Painted Bird [+see also:
interview: Václav Marhoul
film profile] by Czech director Václav Marhoul, and Babyteeth by Australian director Shannon Murphy. A situation similar to that of 2017, when Celluloid Dreams was betting on two features in competition (Custody [+see also:
interview: Xavier Legrand
film profile] and Lean on Pete [+see also:
film profile]). Venice has often smiled on the Parisian company (with the win of Lorenzo Vigas’ From Afar in 2015, for example).
Adapted from the famous Jerzy Kosinski novel of the same name and telling the terrible adventures of a young man travelling through Eastern Europe during World War Two, The Painted Bird (shot on black-and-white 35mm film) features the young Petr Kotlár, supported by Udo Kier, Lech Dyblik, Jitka Čvančarová, Stellan Skarsgård, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sand, Aleksey Kravchenko and Barry Pepper. This production, handled by Czech company Silver Screen, with Slovakia and Ukraine co-producing, will then be shown at the 44th Toronto International Film Festival (5 - 15 September) in the Special Presentations section.
In Venice, the team of Hengameh Panahi will also support Babyteeth, the feature debut from Australian director Shannon Murphy, adapted from a play by Rita Kalnejais. The film will star Eliza Scanlen in the lead role of a seriously ill teenager who falls in love with a petty dealer, a nightmarish event in the eyes of her parents who haven’t seen anything yet…
The company’s line-up also includes the Iran / Canada co-production Death of a Ladies' Man by Matt Bissonnette (read the news), a film now in post-production and whose story is inspired by the writings and songs of Leonard Cohen. The film stars Gabriel Byrne, Brian Gleeson, Antoine Olivier Pilon and Suzanne Clément.
In Venice and Toronto, pre-sales should also be intense around several projects, such as the untitled American production from Ben Foster, centred on a love triangle between writer William Burroughs (who will be played by the director), his muse Joan Vollmer (Kristen Stewart) and the young Allerton (Tom Glynn-Carney). Note that Celluloid Dreams is handling this title for all territories except the USA and Canada.
Another project in the line-up: Infinity Pool from Canadian director Brandon Cronenberg (Antiviral) which will focus on an uninspired writer, on holiday with his wife in an island resort, who is thrown into dangerous misadventures after an escapade to the countryside. The film will be produced by Canada and co-produced by Hungary and France (via Celluloid Dreams).
Celluloid Dreams is also handling pre-sales on the project Miss Marx from Italian filmmaker Susanna Nicchiarelli (the French company sold her previous film, Nico, 1988 [+see also:
interview: Susanna Nicchiarelli
film profile]) with British actress Romola Garai in the role of Karl Marx’s daughter. A production handled by Roman company Vivo Film, with Rai Cinema and Belgian company Tarantula co-producing.
The line-up also features the project Why Are We Not Creative? from German director Hermann Vaske, a follow-up to his documentary Why Are We Creative? [+see also:
interview: Hermann Vaske
film profile], presented in the Giornate degli Autori section in Venice in 2018.
Finally, still in the line-up of projects, Naoshima from Martin Provost (Séraphine [+see also:
film profile], The Midwife [+see also:
interview: Martin Provost
film profile], and who is now concluding the shoot for How To Be A Good Wife) stands out. The film, written by the director together with Séverine Werba, follows the chance encounter in Japan of two French women, a famous sexologist and her interpreter, who together go searching for a lost future love and discover the mysterious and marvellous links that bind all human beings across time. A Curiosa Films production that should feature Catherine Deneuve and Sandrine Kiberlain in the cast.
It is worth noting that, in the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Celluloid Dreams presented the animated film The Swallows of Kabul [+see also:
interview: Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbe-…
film profile], by Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbe-Mevellec, which will be released in French cinemas on 4 September.
(Translated from French)
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