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RELEASES France

Belgian Cow-boy in the line-up beside Lucky Luke

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With Christmas fast approaching, French distributors are trying to stake their position amidst the flurry of expected releases, starting today with 12 films hitting screens.

Releases include the animated feature Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure [+see also:
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by Olivier Jean-Marie, produced by Xilam with a budget of €11.74m (including €1.5m from France 3 Cinéma) and released by Pathé on a generous 504 screens. But the screen adaptation of the adventures of the famous law-upholder inspired by the comic books of Morris and Goscinny has some unexpected competition: the quirky Cow-boy [+see also:
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interview: Benoît Mariage
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by Belgian director Benoît Mariage (see Focus) starring Benoît Poelvoorde, a film lauded by critics and released on 128 screens by its minority French co-producer UGC.

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Another quality production released today is 24 mesures [+see also:
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(“24 Measures”) by Jalil Lespert starring Benoît Magimel, Sami Bouajila, Lubna Azabal and Bérangère Allaux. Screened at Critics’ Week at the latest Venice Film Festival (Special Report), this debut feature is produced by WY Productions, benefits from an advance on receipts from the National Centre for Cinematography (CNC) and is co-produced by MK2 who are releasing it on 60 screens.

The selection of minority French co-productions includes Silent Light [+see also:
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by Mexican director Carlos Reygadas, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival (Special Report), and is co-produced by Arte France Cinéma and Bac Films who are launching it on 44 screens.

Another noteworthy release is the French/Chilean documentary Calle Santa Fe by Carmen Castillo, unveiled at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section (distribution Ad Vitam – 17 screens) and the French/Egyptian co-production Chaos by Youssef Chahine (in official competition at the 2007 Venice Film Festival – released by Tadrart Films on 27 screens).

Amongst the European titles, there are also high hopes for the unusual Stealth [+see also:
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by Swiss director Lionel Baier whose plot traverses Slovakia and Poland (Epicentre Films – 7 screens), the classic German animated film The Adventures of Prince Ahmed by Lotte Reiniger (Carlotta Films – 13 screens) and the highly original French documentary On dirait que... (“Let’s Say…”) by Françoise Marie in which children pretend to go to work and do their parents’ jobs (Pyramide – 24 screens).

Todd Haynes’ I'm not there (Diaphana – 80 screens) completes the line-up of films vying for audiences this week and facing competition from the following giant releases: US/UK co-production The Golden Compass by Chris Weitz (launched by Metropolitan on 768 screens) and L'Auberge rouge [+see also:
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(“The Red Inn”) by French director Gérard Krawczyk starring Christian Clavier, Josiane Balasko and Gérard Jugnot. A remake of Claude Autant-Lara’s 1951 film, this mass-appeal comedy with a budget of €21.43m is being launched by Warner on over 500 screens.

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(Translated from French)

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