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Rotterdam roundup: new plans from Odoul, Kaurismaki; Raul Ruiz's widow takes over project

With the start of International Film Festival Rotterdam’s coproduction market (the CineMart), the pace of the festival picked up dramatically over weekend — and news has emerged of deals and new projects.

French auteur Damien Odoul, whose new feature The Rest Of The World (sold by Le Pacte) was a world premiere in Rotterdam on Friday,gave details of his new projects with Kristina Larsen from Les Films Du Lendemain. One is an original screenplay by Odoul.
The other is inspired by Japanese novel The Man Who Came Back (L’Homme Qui Revient) by Natsuki Ikezawa.

Dutch outfit Circe Films confirmed that Media Luna has picked up international sales rights to Sacha Polak’s Hemel. The film, about a girl trying to work out the difference between sex and love, is a premiere in Berlin’s Forum next month.

British producer Christine Alderson of Ipso Facto is attending CineMart with Snow In Paradise, the directorial debut of acclaimed editor Andrew Hulme (Control,and last week’s Sundance hit The Imposter). The project, about an East End thug who re-invents himself after discovering Islam, is being touted as a British answer to A Prophet.

Here in Rotterdam, Alderson has also revealed further details of projects the Ipso Facto slate. She has confirmed that she is working again with writer-director Simon Aboud on his new film, The Shallow End. The new project, due to shoot in the US, is father/son story about a
character who designs swimming pools. Aboud’s Comes A Bright Day, sold internationally by Intandem, will world premiere in Berlin’s Generation Programme.

Ipso Facto is also moving ahead with The Mulo, which has Samantha Morton attached. The film, directed by Matthew Thompson, is being made with Buffalo Girl Pictures. The $5 million project, about two twin sisters growing up in a close-knit gypsy community, is due to shoot in
Manitoba next winter. Intandem is handling sales.

On Tuesday, IFFR is paying tribute to the great Chilean filmmaker Raul Ruiz, who died in August at age 70. Ruiz was a regular attendee at Rotterdam and many of his films were screened her. Actor Melvil Poupaud and former IFFR director Simon Field are among the participants expected to take part in a panel celebrating Ruiz on Tuesday. Ruiz’s first film La Maleta (1963) and one of his last Ballet Aquatique (2011) are screening.

His widow, editor Valeria Sarmiento was invited to Rotterdam but had to decline – she has taken over the direction of Lines Of Wellington, which Ruiz himself was originally supposed to helm. The film, produced by Paulo Branco’s Alfama and currently, has an all-star cast including John Malkovich, Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert.

Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki passed through Rotterdam on Friday. He was booed by some when he turned up late and dishevelled at the Q&A before his film Le Havre but the film itself was very warmly received. Kaurismaki told the local press that he will soon be joining forces with Manoel De Oliveira, Jean-Luc Godard, Pedro Costa and Victor Erice on a film to mark the status of Guimäres in
Northern Portugal as European Capital of Culture in 2012.

Kaurismaki also waxed philosophical about his love of dogs.“Yes, I like dogs,” the director – who once made a film called Dogs Have No Hell -acknowledged. “I have two. I had three but one died.” The dog in Le Havre is one of his own. “I like to use my own dogs because for them I
don’t have to pay,” he said of his continual use of his own pets in his movies.

IFFR continues until Feb 5.

For full production credits for the films above visit

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