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BERLINALE 2008 France

French hopefuls for Silver and Golden Bear Awards

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As the 58th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival (February 7-17) approaches, the list of French hopefuls vying for a place in one of the festival sections is giving rise to much speculation.

Below follows a list of possible contenders, even though only the selection of Laetitia Masson’s Coupable [+see also:
film review
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]
(“Guilty", see news) in the Panorama section has been confirmed so far.

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Among the favourites, Bertrand Tavernier’s In the Electric Mist starring Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard and Mary Steenburgen, clearly stands out. Set for domestic release on March 26 by TFM, this French/US co-production piloted by Little Bear is being sold by TF1 International.

Other serious contenders include Olivier Assayas' Summer Time, starring Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling and Jérémie Renier, which is produced and sold by MK2 and set for release on March 12 (see news). As well as Cédric Klapisch’s Paris [+see also:
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(see news) – a Ce Qui Me Meut production sold by StudioCanal. The film's stellar cast includes Romain Duris, Juliette Binoche, François Cluzet, Fabrice Luchini, Albert Dupontel, Karine Viard and Mélanie Laurent.

Not to be underestimated is Robert Guédiguian’s thriller Lady Jane [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
starring Ariane Ascaride, Jean-Pierre Darroussin and Gérard Meylan (see news). Set for an April 9 release, the Agat Films production is being sold by Films Distribution.

With a European cast led by Sophie Marceau, Marie Gillain, Julie Depardieu, Italian actress Maya Sansa and German actor Moritz Bleibtreu, Female Agents by Jean-Paul Salomé (see news) could clinch a surprise triumph. The title, produced by La Chauve Souris and sold by TF1 International, is set for release on March 5.

A sidebar screening looks likely for Philippe Faucon’s Dans la vie [+see also:
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(“In Life”, see news), to be released on March 12 by Pyramide, who are also handling international sales. Jean-Marc Moutout’s La fabrique des sentiments (formerly known as Exclusif, see news) – to be released on February 6 by its producer and sales agent Les Films du Losange) – can also expect to be shown in a sidebar section.

Notable outsider favourites include French/German co-production Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (“I’ve Loved You for a Long Time”) by Philippe Claudel starring Kristin Scott-Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein (set for release on March 19, see news); Belgian/French co-production Le premier venu (“The First To Arrive”) by Jacques Doillon (see news, to be released on April 2 by its sales agent Pyramide); and Notre univers impitoyable [+see also:
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(“Our Pitiless World”) by Swiss director Lea Fazer, starring Alice Taglioni, Jocelyn Quivrin and Thierry Lhermitte (produced by Haut et Court and sold by Films Distribution and scheduled for a February 13 release).

Among the genre films, hopefuls include the detective story RMR 73 by Olivier Marchal starring Daniel Auteuil (set for release on March 26, see news); and Thomas Vincent’s thriller The New Protocol starring Clovis Cornillac and Marie-Josée Croze (set for release on March 19, see news).

(Translated from French)

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