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uCarmen team plans La Boheme film

EXCLUSIVE: The South Africa theatre project is one of 16 projects on packed slate from UK’s F&ME.

The team behind Berlinale winner uCarmen eKhayelitsha will make a new film based on Puccini’s La Boheme.

South African theatre company Isango Ensemble is premiering La  Boheme - Abanxhaxi in London this week. Director Mark Dornford-May is working on the adaptation with musical director Pauline Malefane [pictured], who plays Mimi.

The film will shoot in Khayelitsha Township near Cape Town later this year as the first film under the F&ME/Isango banner. F&ME chairman Stephen Daldry will executive produce.

Mike Downey and Sam Taylor of F&ME will produce, in one of 16 films on the company’s packed slate.

“The production is a unique partnership with charity The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.” says F&ME’s Mike Downey.

Daldry, Downey and Taylor produced Dornford May/Isango’s last movie, Son of Man.

In post are Peter Greenaway’s Goltzius and the Pelican Company, Andrzej Jakimowski’s Imagine, Jacco Groen’s Lilet Never Happened, Kadri Koussar’s The Arbiter, and Zagreb Stories II and Mira Fornay’s My Dog Killer.

“It’s great to have a number of high profile productions on our slate,” says F&ME’s Samantha Taylor, “These are supported by a wide range of co-productions from a brace of different countries and cultures and these form part of the mainstay of what we do.”

Next to shoot are the $4.5m UK-Georgia project Epic written by Ben Hopkins and Pawel Pawlikowski; the $4.4m Cassy And Jude to be shot in Wales; and then in 2013 Srdjan Dragojevic’s The Porcupine (his follow up to hit The Parade).

The other films on the slate are Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s Staying Alive, Children of the Revolution: This is Rio by Julien Temple, doc Streekids United II – Brazil 2014, Ineke Smits’ N.N., Rajko Grlic’s Miracle at Vipers Glen, Finnish children’s fantasy Rolli and the Golden Key, Antonio Nuic’s The Butcher’s Heart, and Fatmir Koci’s tentatively titled England On My Roof from Albania.

“We have a number of other films in the pipeline,” says Downey, “for example we are developing a project with the Scottish director David Mackenzie and the Spanish producer Antonio Saura, but it’s just a bit early to talk about them.”

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