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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Luxembourg / Netherlands / Germany

Désirée Nosbusch prepares Poison, her first fiction feature film as director

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- The actor and director, who is also executive producer on the film, is working on an adaptation of the eponymous play by Lot Vekemans

Désirée Nosbusch prepares Poison, her first fiction feature film as director
Actress and director Désirée Nosbusch (© Sina Goertz)

A key figure of Luxembourg’s cultural scene and media world, 56-year-old actress Désirée Nosbusch is currently experiencing a second wave of notoriety. As she herself claims, Nosbusch who started out as a television presenter in Germany, France and Belgium in the 1980s, has never before been part of this many projects (her involvement in the series Bad Banks, the superhero comedy Superchamp Returns [+see also:
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, and in the Netflix series Capitani prove it).

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Twenty years ago, Désirée Nosbusch was making her very well-received first steps as director with her short film Ice Cream Sundae (2001). In 2014, she directed the documentary Succès Fox, about the life of actor Fernand Fox and, through his story, about the evolution of Luxembourg theatre. But with Poison, which was initially set to begin filming in August 2021, Nosbusch is determined to make another step forward as filmmaker. This first fiction feature is inspired by the eponymous play written by Lot Vekemans, one of the most celebrated contemporary playwrights in the Netherlands. Appreciated for its poetic genius, the play met with considerable success and was translated in more than 15 languages.

Poison recounts the moving reunion between a man and a woman ten years after their child was killed in a car accident. This reunion takes place in a cemetery, as the son’s body is about to be exhumed following the infiltration of toxins in the ground where he is buried…

The director says she is fascinated by this story, which she sees as “a meditation on the complex circumstances which determine and guide our lives: loss, grief, dependance, loneliness, love, guilt, chance, revenge, commitment, faith, hope and redemption.” The characters’ existences are thus put on hold following the sudden pain provoked by an immense loss. In her director’s statement, Nosbusch (who herself has already played the mother, Édith, on stage) explains that she indeed wishes to illustrate the complicated evolution of the former couple, forced to continue to live despite their pain. "This story profoundly moved me and hasn’t left me since."

From an artistic point of view, producer Alexandra Hoesdorff says she was seduced by the structure of the story, which relies almost entirely on two characters talking to each other in a cemetery: “It’s an original project, different from what the market is currently offering. It is also an important feature film for Deal Productions because it is originally from Luxembourg and a majority Luxembourg production, developed from the Grand Duchy during several years. I am also very attached to it because it is the first fiction film directed by Désirée, with whom I funded the company in 2011.”

With a budget of € 4 million, Poison is financed by Luxembourg (73%, via Alexandra Hoesdorff of Deal Productions), the Netherlands (17%, Petra Goedings of Phanta Film) and Germany (10%, Michael Lehmann of Studio Hamburg Letterbox). Among the public financiers, the Film Fund Luxembourg has confirmed a contribution of €2,700,000. The film is set to be completed in 2022. The names of the two actors set to play the lead roles will be unveiled soon.

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(Translated from French)

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