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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Belgium / France

Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni are shooting Le Syndrome des Amours Passées

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- The Belgian directorial duo kicked off filming on their second feature a few days ago, following in the footsteps of Madly in Life

Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni are shooting Le Syndrome des Amours Passées
Directors Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni with their Magritte for Best Film for Madly in Life

It’s back to business for the duo composed of Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni, who are currently shooting Le Syndrome des Amours Passées. The two directors made a name for themselves several years ago via a fistful of short films exploring fantastical and hard-hitting worlds: films such as Lucha Libre, Avec Thelma and Much in Common, which won them recognition amongst their peers, as well as a raft of festival prizes.

Last year saw the release of their first feature film, Madly in Life [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Raphaël Balboni & Ann Sirot
film profile
]
, which was made by way of the lightweight production programme initiated by the Wallonia Brussels Federation Film and Audiovisual Centre and aimed at giving a leg-up to young authors wishing to make the leap to feature films via a specific framework which helps accelerate the process. Budgets are limited and deadlines are tight, but the resulting artistic freedom provides directors with an opportunity to try out their worlds in longer formats. Madly in Life is still travelling all over the world, it has enjoyed modest yet pleasing success in cinemas, and it has earned the duo no less than seven Magritte awards, including a trophy for Best Film.

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This, then, will be Sirot and Balboni’s first feature film produced in a more traditional context, though the pair will retain their usual approach, largely based around in-depth rehearsals with actors and actresses during the script-writing process.

Le Syndrome des Amours Passées follows the trajectory of Rémy and Sandra who can’t have children on account of a strange illness: "Past Lovers Syndrome". There’s only one way to recover from it: they must spend one last night with each of their exes.

Sirot and Balboni are clearly looking to explore the notion of the couple, but they’re also investigating family, what it is that unites us, what makes us a legitimate couple, what role does parenthood or faithfulness play when it comes to falling in love?

To embark upon this examination of the modern-day couple, which we expect to be playful and imaginative, they’ve surrounded themselves with a sizeable group of actors and actresses notably hailing from Belgium. Specifically, they’ve reunited with Lucie Debay (one of the heroines of Madly in Life whom we’ll soon be seeing in Thibaut Segouin’s Une comédie romantique) who’ll be playing Sandra, and Lazare Gousseau (discovered in Baden Baden [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) who’ll be stepping into the shoes of Rémy.

Acting alongside them, on the merry-go-round of exes, we’ll find Hervé Piron (seen in Emma Peeters [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicole Palo
film profile
]
) and Ninon Borséi (whom the filmmakers directed in their last short film Much in Common), not to mention French actresses Florence Loiret-Caille (recently seen in The Young Lovers [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and About Joan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laurent Larivière
film profile
]
) and Nora Hamzawi (this year starring in Third Grade [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
and the series Irma Vep), and young musician Alice Dutoit (Alice on the Roof) who was revealed in Jan Bucquoy’s The Last Temptation of the Belgians [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan Bucquoy
film profile
]
.

Much like Madly in Life and their most recent short films, Le Syndrome des Amours Passées is produced by Julie Esparbes on behalf of Hélicotronc (whose most recent feature film to date, Emmanuelle Nicot’s Dalva [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuelle Nicot
interview: Emmanuelle Nicot, Julie Esp…
film profile
]
, was presented in Critics’ Week and is now awaiting its cinema release), in co-production with Delphine Schmit and Guillaume Dreyfus on behalf of Tripode Productions in France. The movie will be sold worldwide by Be For Films.

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(Translated from French)

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