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PRODUCTION France

Gatlif’s Liberté: A gypsy family in German-occupied France

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Lensing will kick off on September 22 in the Rhône-Alpes region on what will be Tony Gatlif’s 16th feature, Liberté (“Freedom”). After winning Best Screenplay at Cannes 2004 with Exiles and closing the out-of-competition official selection in 2006 with his latest title Transylvania [+see also:
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, the director will now tackle a story combining his usual universe with a historic episode that has resonances in the current European political context, that of the destiny of a gypsy family in the German-occupied France of 1943.

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The film stars French actor Marc Lavoine (Frenchmen), Canadian actress Marie-Josée Croze (Tell No One [+see also:
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) and Swiss actor James Thiérrée (The Vanishing Point [+see also:
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) Based on real-life characters, Liberté will follow the journey of a family led by its head of clan (a woman) and its "hero", Taloche (Thiérrée), a whimsical childlike bohemian. They will be helped by the Righteous, Théodore, the town mayor (Lavoine) and Ms Lundi, teacher and mayor employee (Croze). Written by the director, the story deals with the tragic destiny of gypsies in France. But it is also a story of love and friendship between two Righteous who try to protect, right to the bitter end, an abandoned child and a Roma family.

Gatlif accompanied the announcement of the project with a declaration highlighting his intentions: "I wanted to give them another image other than that forged by fear and hate, which led directly to gas chambers and gypsies and bohemians, a free and nomad people".

Produced by Princes Productions, the filmmaker’s company, Liberté, has received co-production funding from France 3 Cinéma and Rhône Alpes Cinéma, as well as an advance on receipts from the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC).

Filming will last two months, with the title’s domestic release by TFM scheduled for autumn 2009. TF1 International will handle worldwide sales.

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(Translated from French)

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