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Terence Davies’ A Quiet Passion excites Paris Project

Mads Matthiesen’s Emma and Bavo Defurne’s Souvenirs among other hot projects.

Terence Davies upcoming biopic devoted to the life of American poet Emily Dickinson A Quiet Passion was one of the hot projects at this year’s edition of the Paris Project co-production market.

The event, which ran from June 30 to July 3 within the capital’s public-focused Paris Cinema film festival, is aimed at connecting international filmmakers with French producers, sales agents and distributors.

“We’ve had 36 scheduled meetings in three days and fitted a few more in between,” said Roy Boulter, who is producing the picture alongside Solon Papadopoulos through their Liverpool-based Hurricane Films.

“We’re in the fortunate position that there is an appreciation of both Dickinson and Terence in France,” commented Boulter. “Terence is like Ken Loach in that he has as many fans across the Channel as at home. Even if we don’t secure a co-producer here, we’ve had some great feedback.”

There were no firm deals to report out of the market as of Thursday evening but a number of participants reported strong leads.

Other hot projects included Danish Mad Matthiesen’s Emma, Norwegian Jonas Matzow Gulbrandsen’s Into the Grey, Belgian Bavo Defurne’s Souvenirs,Canadian Maxime Giroux’ Felix and Meira and Indonesian Edwin’s Exotic Pictures.

The Paris fashion world setting of Matthiesen’s thriller Emma, revolving around a young Danish girl who moves to the French capital to pursue a modelling career, had prompted strong interest from a number of French players, commented Zentropa producer Jonas Bagger.

The plan is to shoot the $3.2m (€2.5m) picture in spring 2014, potentially partly in and around Paris fashion week.

“I like to get into the backdrops of my films and get a real feel for them… we’re starting our Paris research now and looking into how easy it would be to shoot during that period,” said Matthiesen, who won the directing award in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic section last year.

Belgian director Bavo Defurne’s Souvenirs - the tale of a fortysomething, former Eurovision Song Contest star who is encouraged by her 18-year-old boyfriend to stage a comeback - also proved popular.

Defurne best known for his short films and features exploring gay love and loss including the critically-acclaimed North Sea Texas.

“I don’t want to only make films about gay love. This is the tale of a relationship of an older woman and a younger man – which is still something of a taboo today,” said Defurne.

The fact that cult Portland band Pink Martini is also collaborating on the Eurovision Song Contest-inspired soundtrack alongside Adriano Cominotto, who wrote the soundtrack for North Sea Texas, has also proven a draw for French backers. The group has a big following in France.

Overall there were some 650 meetings scheduled over the three-day meeting, said Paris Project head Vanja Kaludjercic.

“That’s 150 more than last year. In terms of the projects, meetings and attendees, it has been one of strongest editions yet,” she added.

Attendees included representatives of big French players such as Wild Bunch, Le Pacte, Gaumont, MK2 and Celluloid Dreams.

A number of international companies also attended including Artificial Eye, Fortissimo, Match Factory and Film i Vast. 

Full details of the projects can be found here: http://www.pariscinema.org/data/document/projectbook2013.pdf

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