New French co-production for Lunar Films
by Annika Pham
After Cedric Klapisch’s Russian Dolls [+see also:
film profile] and Raoul Ruiz’s Klimt [+see also:
film profile], Lunar Films, headed by Matthew Justice, is making another French co-production, Johnny Mad Dog, an English language film to be directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire and produced by Mathieu Kassovitz’s MNP Productions. Principal photography will start January 14, 2007.
Johnny Mad Dog is co-scripted by Sauvaire with Jacques Fieschi (who co-wrote Charlie Says) and based on a novel by Emmanuel Dongala. Set during a civil conflict in a West African country, the film focuses on the lives of Johnny – a boy soldier with the look of a gangsta rapper – and Laokolé, a 16 year-old girl who tries, together with her family, to escape her city occupied by teenage soldiers militias.
The €2.5m film is a 60/40 French/UK co-production and the UK co-producers are Justice and Will Clarke from Optimum Releasing, the distribution company that will handle the film’s UK theatrical and video release. Film Four is another UK investor while TF1 will handle international sales.
The two year-old Lunar Films has also three UK films at various stages of production: David Mackenzie’s Hallam Foe, starring Jamie Bell, was co-produced with Sigma Films with financing from Film Four, the Glasgow Film Office, Scottish Screen and Ingenious Film Partners. International sales are being handled by Independent Film Sales and UK distribution through BVI is scheduled for Christmas.
Currently shooting are Oliver Parker’s I Really Hate My Job, starring Neve Campbell and being sold by The Works, and the low budget Sugarhouse Lane, starring Ashley Walters (Stormbreaker). The directorial debut of actor Gary Love is based on a script by Dominic Leyton.
The next UK project set to start shooting in the spring is Tomo, a quirky sci-fi movie described by Justice as a “Robinson Crusoe in the 25th century” and is the story of a man fighting a robot is the feature version of an award-winning short film by upcoming writer/filmmaker Paul Catling. Becker Films handles world sales.
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