Filming to kick off at the end of May on Alice Diop’s Saint-Omer
- The director who gave us We is making the leap to fiction with an SRAB Films production sold by Wild Bunch International and starring Kayije Kagame and Guslagie Malanda
A confirmed talent within the documentary world, having scooped the Best Film award in Berlin’s Encounters section in early March by way of We [+see also:
interview: Alice Diop
film profile], which followed in the wake of On Call [+see also:
film profile] (the winner of the Cinéma du Réel Festival’s French competition in 2016, which also competed in the Karlovy Vary gathering that same year) and La mort de Danton (rewarded at the Cinéma du Réel Festival in 2011), Alice Diop is gearing up to make the leap to fiction and is set to begin shooting Saint-Omer at the end of May. The film is loosely based on a true story which hit the headlines in France in 2013, with a cast headed up by Swiss actress Kayije Kagame (very well-known in the theatre world; soon to appear in the series entitled H24, 24h de la vie d’une femme) and Guslagie Malanda (the breakthrough actress of My Friend Victoria [+see also:
Written by Alice Diop in league with the famous author Marie Ndiaye (White Material [+see also:
film profile]) and Amrita David (the director’s trusty editor), the story sees thirty-something novelist Rama attend the trial of Laurence Coly at the Saint-Omer Criminal Court. The latter is accused of killing her fifteen-month-old daughter by abandoning her on a beach in the north of France just as the tide was rising. Rama would like to use this story to write a modern-day adaptation of the ancient myth of Medea, but things don’t go as planned during the trial. Ultimately, it will be Rama’s relationship with motherhood which is called into question during this “huis clos” trial…
Saint-Omer is produced by Christophe Barral and Toufik Ayadi on behalf of SRAB Films, in co-production with Arte France Cinéma. Pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the feature film also enjoys the support of the CNC (by way of an advance on receipts and the Images de la Diversité Fund), as well as the backing of the Ile-de-France and Hauts-de-France regions (courtesy of Pictanovo), where the seven-week film shoot will unfold. Distribution in France will be managed by Diaphana and international sales by Wild Bunch International.
For the record, previous films offered up by SRAB Films include the multi-award-winning work Les Misérables [+see also:
interview: Ladj Ly
film profile] by Ladj Ly, and, in post-production, Les Magnétiques by Vincent Cardona, Les Méchants by the duo composed of Mouloud Achour and Dominique Baumard (due for release in French cinemas on 8 September), Hugo Sobelman’s documentary Soul Kids (to be released 24 November 2021) and Nadège Loiseau’s Trois fois rien (read our article).
(Translated from French)
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