REPORT: Cinemed Meetings 2021
- We take a look at the 14 projects selected for the 31st instalment of the Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival’s Development Grant, which include the new works by Mehdi M Barsaoui and Aurel
Tomorrow, Tuesday 19 October, will mark the beginning of the Cinemed Meetings: three days of professional meetings organised within the 43nd Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival (read our news and interview with Christophe Leparc). Standing out on the agenda is the 31st instalment of the Development Grant. This year, the 14 selected fiction projects hail from 14 Mediterranean countries and will be presented by their directors and producers to a jury composed of Georges Goldenstern (director of Cannes Film Festival's Cinéfondation), Catherine Bizern (Céci Moulin d’Andé), producer Gabrielle Dumon (Le Bureau) and Swiss consultant Michel Merkt. Two Development Grants will be handed out at the event (funded by the CNC and the Occitanie region and further consisting of technical expertise from Titra Films, French Kiss and Saraband, and a writing residency at Céci - Moulin d’Andé).
It’s worth mentioning that these professional days will also include the 7th edition of the "From Short to Long" initiative (eight feature film projects, offered up by filmmakers who have a short film in competition in Montpellier this year, which will be judged by a jury, with two writing residencies up for grabs), and, of course, co-production meetings with the usual individual meetings organised between project bearers and professionals attending Montpellier. And that's without forgetting the 6th edition of "Talents en court" (litt. “Talent in Short”).
The projects in the running for the Development Grant are as follows:
Aïcha - Mehdi M Barsaoui (Tunisia/France)
Production: Marc Irmer for Dolce Vita Films
Aya, a thirty-something Tunisian woman, lives in Tozeur, a city in Southern Tunisia. One day, misfortune befalls her. Aya doesn't know it yet but it will be the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to her and she will never be the same person again.
Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner - Mohamed Samir (Egypt/France)
Production: Marwa Abdalla for DayDream Art Production
A 70-year-old mother must overcome her obsession with her 45-year-old son who never left home. Before she dies, will she help her overgrown infant quickly grow or keep devouring him till she passes away to leave him utterly useless and helpless?
Dear M. Tarkovsky - Firas Khoury (Palestine/Tunisia)
Production: Asma Chiboub for Atlas Vision
Desperate to secure financing for his film, Farouk resorts to a scheme targeting Fayez, one of Ramallah's richest men. Nothing goes quite as planned as Farouk falls in love with Yasmine, Fayez's daughter, who was just supposed to be the bait.
El portero - Aurel (France/Spain)
Production: Serge Lalou for Les Films d’Ici Méditerranée
Paul, a stout and reserved thirty-something, believes he's found in the lyrics of a Spanish song the trace of his grandfather who disappeared long before his birth. His quest takes him to Valencia to meet Amparo, the singer and author of the song.
Lives of Hamid - Jonathan Millet (France/Belgium)
Production: Pauline Seigland for Films Grand Huit
Hamid belongs to a group of Syrian citizens who scour Europe looking for regime officials on the run. Hamid follows on his own, in Strasbourg, the trail of Harfaz, his former torturer. His quest will reopen his deepest and most painful wounds.
The Heir to the Secrets - Mohamed Nadif (Morocco/Canada/France)
Production: Awman Productions
As a child, Farid had heard that the father he didn't know had fled Morocco for the love of another woman. But at 38 years old, another truth emerges: it wasn’t a woman who'd led his father to Montreal, but the one lurking inside him that was waiting to bloom.
IA - Keti Machavariani (Georgia)
Production: Nato Sikharulidze for Terra Incognita Films
A Georgian woman, a specialist and translator of modern Greek literature, was forced to emigrate to Greece after the death of her husband, to provide for her son and herself. Will the illegal immigrant struggling to survive manage to remain committed to her moral values and principles and not commit a crime?
It's a Sad and Beautiful World - Cyril Aris (Lebanon/France/Germany)
Production: Georges Schoucair for Abbout Productions
The improbable love story between Nino, a warmhearted idealist, and Soraya, a wounded cynic, is challenged by Lebanon's tumultuous history from the past 40 years, and by an impeding cosmic event that could upend all that came before.
The Night of Queens - Valentin Noujaïm (France/Italy)
Production: Edyta Janczak-Hiriart for Kometa Films
A party on Bastille Day. The 1960's. An Arab country colonised by France. An Arab queen obsessed about Marie-Antoinette. A play about French revolution, performed by the queen's maids. A glamorous reception that will end in a bloodbath.
The Raïs of Palermo - Julien Paolini (France/Italy)
Production: Syrus Shahidi for La Réserve
In Palermo, having an affair with a married woman has a price. Especially if she is the wife of a Sicilian mafia chief. Cyril's irreparable behaviour leads his older brother, Brahim, and his clan to a dangerous path. Nicknamed Raïs, Brahim, the only non -icilian chief of thr Cosa Nostra district, was about to be promoted deputy chief after 20 years of loyal service and hard word. Now, he has to choose between killing his brother or giving up his lifelong dream.
The Dream Betrayed Me - Mohammad Shaikhow (Syria/France)
Production: Camille Laemlé for Les Films d’Ici
Mesto, a young Kurdish with a promising future as a talented footballer, becomes the symbol of the oppressed Kurdish people and their political struggle by scoring a goal against the arch-rivals from the neighbouring town during a last match, in a tyrannical Syria.
Land of Revenge - Anis Djaad (Algeria/France)
Production: Jean-François Catton for Praxis Films
After 3 years in prison, Djamel, a former bribe-taker, tries to rebuild a more dignified life by going back to his home village with the hope of finding his son. As an anonymous citizen, he comes up against bureaucracy and the corrupted system he used to serve.
Birth Right - Inbar Horesh (Israel)
Production: Alona Refua for Green Productions
What was supposed to be a heritage trip to Israel connecting diaspora Jews to their roots turns into a journey of sexual maturing and search of identity that exceeds the borders of nationalism and faith.
A Man on a Bridge - David Martin de los Santos (Spain)
Production: Andrea Gautier for Smiz & Pixel
A ruined man, who lives inside a luxury car, is forced to confine himself to his home by a virus that begins to spread. Not knowing where to go, he decides to return, after a long time, to the town where he grew up. There he will meet again his brother, with whom he broke his relationship in the past; an old friend, whom he forgot when he left; and a girlfriend from his youth with whom he had a family project. Hiding his shameful reality, he will try to reconcile with them.
(Translated from French)
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