Features about cannibals and female assassins are among the 15 new projects on offer to French partners at this month’s Paris Project co-production platform (July 4-7).
For international producers looking for a French partner or sales agent, Paris Project is the event to attend. The four-day co-production platform runs as part of the Paris Cinema Festival (July 2-13) and attracts a wide range of European and international projects.
In its ninth year, Paris Project aims to connect non-French film-makers, producers and their projects with French co-producers and sales companies. Foreign professionals are also welcome and increasingly present.
“Paris Project was launched at the same time as the festival. It was seen as important that the festival had some sort of industry event attached to attract professionals,” says Paris Project chief Thibaut Bracq. “France has a long tradition of co-productions… a co-production platform made sense.”
Starting with just 30 submissions and 60 attendees in its first year, the 2011 edition has received more than 300 projects and will host some 350 professionals during the meeting.
The event estimates that roughly 50% of the projects presented to date have found a French partner.
In 2010, Turkish producer C Asli Filiz of Nar Film Yapim signed a co-production deal with Paris-based Arizona Films for Ozcan Alper’s Future Lasts Forever during Paris Project.
Arizona then helped its Turkish partners tap into the Aid for Foreign Language Films fund of France’s CNC. This year the film is among four former projects in post-production that will be given an industry screening at Paris Project.
The tale of a young music academic delving into her past in the ethnically Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in south-east Turkey is tipped for a major festival premiere later this summer.
Future Lasts Forever is among scores of films which have come to fruition with the help of Paris Project.
“We originally met in Istanbul but the deal was signed at Paris Project. Events like this are incredibly important for us because it’s very difficult to find finance for a film like this back home,” says Filiz.
‘We look for intriguing stories, particular universes and innovative cinema’
Thibaut Bracq, Paris Project
Other recent success stories include Hier from Hungary’s Balint Kenyeres. Les Films de l’Apres Midi boarded the film following its Paris Project presentation in 2010 and also helped it secure CNC funding. The project featured in the Cannes Atelier this year where it won the Arte development prize.
“We’re looking for projects which are going to reveal new producers or new directors,” says Bracq. “Sometimes we choose film-makers who have made quite a few films but have not had much exposure in France. We look for intriguing stories… particular universes and innovative cinema. It’s good if a project has some of the budget in place but not obligatory.”
This year’s selection of 15 projects, notes Bracq, has a strong genre theme running through it, notably in films such as Evil Woman, Cannibal and To Kill A Man.
Alongside the official selection, Paris Project will also present projects from Taiwan in a half-day workshop supported by the Taipei Film Commission and the CNC.
Rotterdam Lab projects — Ineke Smits’ N.N. and Marco van Geffen’s No Name — will also be unveiled, as well as films being developed by six present residents of Cannes’ Cinéfondation.
In addition to the co-production sessions, the event will also host a series of industry events. The Ateliers du Cinema Européen (ACE) is organising a seminar on film incentives in Europe. An EAVE presentation will explore independent film production. Europa Distribution and Eye on Film are co-organising a workshop on the distribution of non-European films in Europe, focusing on the releases of Oliver Sherman and Golden Bear- winner Nader And Simin, A Separation.
This year for the first time, four completed films to have found backing through Paris Project will be given public screenings in the festival.
“We thought it was about time we showed the public some of the films that have been made with the help of Paris Project,” says Bracq.
The selected titles include Hard Labor, which premiered at Cannes in Un Certain Regard, and Radu Muntean’s adultery drama Tuesday After Christmas, which first came to the attention of German sales outfit Films Boutique when it was presented at Paris Project in 2009.
Building Royal (Col)
Dir: Ivan Wild
Prod: Ciudad Lunar Producciones
The Building Royal, previously a symbol of status and comfort, is now in decay. Its inhabitants hang onto their elusive dreams.
Future Lasts Forever (Tur-Ger-Fr)
Dir: Ozcan Alper
Prod: Nar Film Yapim
A young music academic delves into her past in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in south-east Turkey.
Like Raining At The End Of April (Thai)
Dir: Wichanon Somumjarn
Prod: Electric Eel Films
When construction work dries up in Bangkok for Nhum, he returns to his hometown for a friend’s wedding.
Dir: Kongdej Jaturanrasamee
Prod: Song Sound Production
Lek and Kong, two shop workers with unfulfilling lives, break into people’s apartments during the day and borrow bits of their lives.
Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories (Viet)
Dir: Phan Dang Di
Prod: V Block Media
A snapshot of life in Ho Chi Minh City in the late 1990s, inspired by a real-life government birth-control scheme offering financial rewards to men who undergo a vasectomy.
Dir: Manuel Martin Cuenca
Prod: La Loma Blanca
A provincial tailor with a secret life as a cannibal becomes emotionally involved with his pretty French neighbour.
Dir: Agnes Kocsis
Prods: Isabella Films, TT Filmmuhely
Drama about a woman who suffers such severe allergies she has to live in isolation.
Evil Woman (Arg)
Dir: Israel Adrian Caetano
An assassin targets men who abuse women.
Dir: Daniel Mulloy
Prod: Flutra Films
In post-war Kosovo, an Albanian woman and her young son are befriended by a Serbian man in Mitrovica, a divided city where racial tensions between the Kosovo Albanian and Serbian communities run high.
Dir: Johannes Nyholm
An eccentric artist suffers a psychosis and turns into his alter ego: a clay figure called Puppetboy.
Rosa FC (Bra)
Dir: Michael Wahrmann
Prod: Sancho Filmes
Culture-clash drama set around a bar in Sao Paolo.
The Screw (Isr)
Dir: Shira Geffen
Prod: Movie Plus Productions
Two women — one Israeli, the other Palestinian — are trapped in their own worlds. They switch and find themselves living the life of the other on the opposite side of the border.
Something Beautiful (Sing-Serb-Viet)
Dir: Vladimir Todorovic
Prod: Akanga Film Asia
A trip to Vietnam by a young French couple is contrasted with the reality of the locals, whose livelihoods depend on the tourism industry.
Dir: Ruben Imaz Castro
Prod: Axolote Cine
A fisherman discovers a huge oil deposit and is ostracised by his community after its exploitation shuts down the shrimping industry. Some 40 years later, he decides to confront the man who led the hate campaign.
The Tour Guide (Isr)
Dir: Yarden Karmin
Prod: Green Productions
A Jerusalem tour guide sets out to discover what happened to the American who disappeared while he was taking her around the Old City.
The Wife of the Man who Eats Laser Beams (Bra)
Dir: Helvecio Marins Jr
Prod: Orobo Filmes
A love quadrangle between a fortune teller, the circus owner, a clown and a ballerina.
To Kill a Man (Chile)
Dir: Alejandro Fernandez Almendras
Prod: El Remanos Cine
A hard-working, modest family take justice into their own hands when the police fail to apprehend the small-time thug who terrorises them.
Vic and Flo Saw a Bear (Can)
Dir: Denis Coté
Prod: La Maison de Prod
Two female former cellmates attempt to rebuild their lives after many years in prison.
Woman and Man (Tur)
Dir: Asli Ozge
Prod: Bulut Film
An artist’s peaceful but passionless existence is shattered when she discovers her husband has been having an affair.