LeBrocquy FraserProductions, whose first feature credit was Osama, has signed on BeckerFilms International to help finance and later sell Five Worlds - anomnibus of 20-minute films from different Islamic countries by fivehighly-regarded local directors.
Each of the five films is avery personal story but also demonstrates the effects of recent political andeconomic upheaval.
One of LeBrocquy Fraser's three partners, Singapore-based Australian-bornproducer Julia Fraser, said Osama writer/director Siddiq Barmak isproducing I Wanted A Horse Not A Wife, a comedy from Afghanistan about aboy attempting to make some money in the film business. Osamacinematographer Ebrahim Ghafuri is also working with director Homayoon Paiz.
Another partner in LeBrocquyFraser, U-Wei Bin HajiSaari, is directing And The Stars Started Singing,about arranged marriages in Malaysia. His feature The Arsonist (Kaki Bakar)was in Un Certain Regard in Cannes in 1995. Another of the films is TheHajji And The Policeman, directed by Garin Nugroho and about endemiccorruption in Indonesia.
'People do not get tohear these (Muslim) voices,' said Fraser. 'We are dipping into eachdirector's culture. They might all be Muslim voices but they are also peoplewho are very very different from each other.'
The other two films are ALife In The Day, a story about the absurdity of life in the occupiedterritories by director Sobhi Al Zobaidi from Palestine, and Atefe's Day,about the younger generations' desire for change by Kamal Tabrizi (MaternalLove) from Iran. French cinematographer Alain Choquart, who is serving onthe Camera d'Or jury in Cannes this year, will work on three of the pictures,as will UK production designer Desmond Crowe.
Fraser has private financeon board and sponsorship from a post-production house. She is looking for aFrench co-producer and looking to Becker for some presales: 'Osamagave us confidence and an instant track record. It has been like a whirlwindand we are still a bit in shock. But now we are back at the grindstone.'
LeBrocquay Fraser has arange of projects on its slate and is also working with people in China,Indonesia and Ireland, home base of the third partner, Julie le Brocquy. HarveyKeitel is attached as writer and producer of Almayers Folly, an adaptationof Joseph Conrad's first novel set in 1830s Borneo.
'There are personal andprofessional reasons to be involved,' said Becker president Reiko Bradley,who relocated from LA to Sydney last year. 'In America there is such fearabout the Middle East and Muslims and as an American and a Westerner I feltthis project would help people to understand.'
She picked up some salesrights to Osama prior to it winning the Golden Globe for best foreignfilm.