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VENICE 2006 Competition / France

10 French productions and co-productions vie for Golden Lion

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With only two days before the opening of the 63rd Venice International Film Festival (August 30-September 9), French cinema is counting its chances of snapping up a Golden Lion, which it has not won since 1993 for a film (Blue by Polish director Krzystof Kieslowski), and since 1987 for a French director (Louis Malle with Goodbye, Children).

This year’s competition line-up features six majority French productions, a French/Italian production (50%-50%) and three minority co-productions.

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As announced on July 14 by Cineuropa (see news), The Untouchable [+see also:
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by Benoît Jacquot and Private Fears in Public Places [+see also:
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]
by Alain Resnais will officially represent France alongside the arthouse title Ces rencontres avec eux (lit. “These Encounters With Them”) by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet.

Twenty-three years after From the Clouds to the Resistance, the filmmaking couple living in Rome – three-time winners at the Berlin Film Festival (1968, 1984, 1987) – have made another film based on Dialogues With Leuco by Italian writer Cesare Pavese. The French/Italian co-production is being made by Pierre Grise Productions, who will release the film on October 18 and is also handling world distribution, Ces rencontres avec eux was funded by the CNC and the Le Fresnoy School.

Aside from these three titles, France also has high hopes for three other majority productions. First up is Dry Season [+see also:
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by Chad director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, produced by Paris-based outfit Chinguitty Films in co-production with Arte France Cinéma, Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium) and the 2006 New Crowned Hope Festival (Austria).

Meanwhile, I Don’t Want To Sleep Alone [+see also:
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by Taiwan’s Tsai Ming-Liang Hei yanquan was produced by Soudaine Compagnie (Bruno Pesery’s company who has produced films by Resnais), also in co-production with the New Crowned Hope Festival.

The third and last majority co-production, Syndromes and a Century by Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul, features as part of the Austrian festival dedicated to Mozart and was produced by Anna Sanders Films.

The Golden Door [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Alexandre Mallet-Guy
interview: Charlotte Gainsbourg
interview: Emanuele Crialese
interview: Emanuele Crialese
interview: Fabrizio Mosca
film profile
]
by Italy’s Emanuele Crialese is a 50% French co-production (Memento Films Production) and is backed by a co-production from Arte France Cinéma (€500,000), with world sales by Wild Bunch.

The three minority productions vying for the Golden Lion are: Private Property [+see also:
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]
by Belgium’s Joachim Lafosse (a Mact Productions co-production, with sales by Films Distribution), The Missing Star [+see also:
trailer
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]
by Italy’s Gianni Amelio (a 20% co-production by Babe, with €400,000 in backing from France 2 Cinéma,) and The Queen [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Andy Harries
interview: Stephen Frears
film profile
]
by UK helmer Stephen Freras (a 20% French production, with co-production and pre-sales financing of €900,000 from France 3 Cinéma).

(Translated from French)

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