The Movie Teller

Source: Andres Larrain Araneda

‘The Movie Teller’

Screen shines a light on 67 European titles that look set to grab the attention of festival directors in 2023, including new films from Marco Bellocchio, Catherine Breillat, Catherine Corsini, Saverio Costanzo, Bruno Dumont, Matteo Garrone, Michel Gondry, Jessica Hausner, Aki Kaurismäki, Baltasar Kormakur, Maïwenn, Steve McQueen, Nanni Moretti, Alice Rohrwacher, Lone Scherfig, André Techiné and Fien Troch.

20,000 Species Of Bees (Sp)
Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Basque director Urresola’s short Chords competed at Cannes Critics’ Week last year. Her feature debut, 20,000 Species Of Bees, centres on an eight-year-old child who struggles with the fact that people keep addressing her in confusing ways. One summer, she explores her identity alongside the women of her family, who at the same time reflect on their own lives and desires. The film took part in the Berlinale co-production market and leading European development labs. Gariza Films, Sirimiri Films and Inicia Films produce.
: Luxbox

Acid (Fr)
Just Philippot
Philippot’s second feature following his 2020 Cannes Critics Week debut The Swarm, is based on his Sundance short of the same name. Guillaume Canet and Laetitia Dosch star in the film about a teenage girl and her parents on the verge of separation as clouds of devastating acid rain fall on France. As the world faces an inevitable end, the fractured family must unite to escape the climate catastrophe. The film is produced by Pathé Films and Bonne Pioche Cinema with UMedia.
Contact: Pathé International

An Explanation For Everything (Hun)
Gabor Reisz
Reisz’s third feature takes in a wide political scope: it’s a multi-character story about an 18-year-old boy who fails his high school graduation exam having worn a brooch of the Hungarian flag. Were political attitudes his downfall? Reisz’s first two films debuted at Karlovy Vary and Tallinn Black Nights respectively; a European debut seems likely for his latest, which is in post-production.
Contact: Films Boutique

Anna LOL (Lat)
Ivars Tontegode
Screenwriter Marta Solija Trence’s experiences as a senior year high school student provide the basis for Ivars Tontegode’s latest feature. Enija Selecka plays a teenage girl having to cope with the separation of her family, a close friend’s suicide and her own emotional turmoil. Tontegode previously directed the award-winning comedy Mushroomers and worked with Anna LOL’s producer Guna Stahovska of Mojo Raiser Production on his feature doc Knutifiction in 2017.
Contact: Mojo Raiser Production

A Whole Life (Aus-Ger)
Hans Steinbichler
Austrian writer Robert Seethaler’s international bestseller A Whole Life about one man’s life in a  mountain valley over eight decades is brought to the screen by German director Hans Steinbichler whose previous films include The Diary Of Anne Frank and an adaptation of Rita Falk’s bestseller Hannes. The film’s protagonist Andreas Egger is played by three actors.
Contact: Picture Tree International

Banel And Adama (Fr-Senegal)
Ramata Sy
Banel And Adama is the first feature from Senegalese-French director Ramata Sy whose short film Astel earned prizes at TIFF 2021 and Clermont Ferrand in 2022. The story follows the titular characters, a teenage couple living in a small, remote village in Senegal. Adama is introverted, while Banel is passionate and rebellious and the two complement each other perfectly, though their love is put to the test when they face up against their very traditional community.
Contact:La Chauve Souris, Astou Films and Take Shelter

Between Us (Ger)
Kanwal Sethi
The authorities’ reaction to the murders of nine people with immigrant backgrounds by the NSU extreme-right terror group in Germany between 2000 and 2006 provides the background for Indian-born director Kanwal Sethi’s third feature. A Turkish couple have been happily married for 14 years but life changes dramatically when Yasemin is shot dead in their cafe by unknown perpetrators. The production by Leipzig-based Rohfilm Productions (the  company behind Great Freedom) was showcased at the European Work in Progress in Cologne in October 2022.
Contact: Rohfilm Productions

Blind At Heart (Ger-Switz-Lux)
Barbara Albert
Austrian filmmaker Albert’s sixth solo directorial feature is adapted from Julia Franck’s novel The Blind Side Of The Heart (German title: Die Mittagsfrau), which won the prestigious German Book Prize in 2007. The story traces the journey of a German woman after the Second World War who is willing to do anything to start a new life. Germany’s Lucky Bird, Switzerland’s C-Films and Luxembourg’s Iris Productions produced the film in May and June last year, with Wild Bunch’s German production arm Senator Film as a co-producer.
Contact:The Match Factory

Body Odyssey (Swiss-It)
Grazia Tricarico
In this first feature from interesting new director Grazia Tricarico, an experienced bodybuilder is on a quest for her idea of perfection and beauty while training for a world championship. Her life, which is controlled and monitored in terms of sleep, nutrition, training, psychology and even sexual encounters, goes askew when a young man’s appearance in her life challenges both her discipline and her will.
Contact: Intramovies

Bonnard, Pierre & Marthe (Fr)
Martin Provost
Actor/filmmaker Martin Provost directs this buzzy French title from festival-feeding production house Les Films du Kiosque, whose credits include Mascarade, La Belle Epoque andLittle Tickles. Vincent Macaigne and Cécile de France star as the titular pair of French painters. Bonnard, known as “the painter of happiness”, is considered one of the greatest French artists of the 20th century. The film focuses on his relationship with Marthe de Méligny, who became his muse and featured in more than a third of his work. Provost’s previous films include Séraphine, winner of best film at the 2009 César awards.
Contact: Memento International

Victor Erice shooting Cerrar Los Ojos

Source: Courtesy of Manolo Pavón

Victor Erice shooting ‘Cerrar Los Ojos’

Cerrar Los Ojos (Sp-Arg)
Victor Erice
Cerrar Los Ojos, which translates as To Close the Eyes, is the fourth feature of celebrated Spanish director Victor Erice after San Sebastian Golden Shell-winning The Spirit of the Beehive (1973), El Sur (1983) and Cannes Jury Prize winner Dream of Light (1982). Thirty-one years after the latter, Erice returns with a rumination on identity and memory, kicking off with the disappearance of an actor during a shooting. Tandem Films, Pecado Films and Pampa produce this long-awaited film, which is written by the director with Michel Gaztambide.
Contact: Film Factory 

Club Zero (Aust-Ger-UK-Fr-Den)
Dir. Jessica Hausner
Austrian auteur Hausner’s latest feature is on course to be ready for Cannes, where her previous titles Amour For and Little Joe premiered. The English-language title filmed in the UK and Austria. A teacher, played by Mia Wasikowska, joins the staff of a prestigious international boarding school and forms a strong but dangerous bond with five of the students. Amir El-Masry and Sidse Babett Knudsen also star. It is produced by Coop99 (Austria), Essential Films (Germany),  Parisienne (France) and Paloma Productions (Denmark). BBC Film is among the backers. 
Contact: Coproduction Office

Consent (Fr)
Vanessa Filho
Consent is the big screen adaptation of Vanessa Springora’s best-selling book The Consentment: A Memoir that details how a young teenage girl fell for and was sexually abused by a writer three times her age. The film stars Jean-Paul Rouve, Laetitia Casta and Kim Higelin and marks Filho’s second feature after drama Angel Face that starred Marion Cotillard and premiered in Cannes in 2018. The original book’s global success combined with Filho’s track record and the allure of Rouve in a rare dramatic role should put it in prime position for a festival run.
Contact: SND Films

Daaaaaali! (Fr)
Quentin Dupieux
French master of the absurd Quentin Dupieux has wrangled a cast of some of France’s top talents for his offbeat biopic of surrealist artist Salvador Dali, including Edouard Baer, Gilles Lellouche, Pio Marmai, Jonathan Cohen, Pierre Niney, Anais de Moustier and Alain Chabat. Daaaaaali! is about a French journalist who meets the Spanish artist repeatedly for a documentary film project, but never manages to start shooting. Dali is said to be played by different actors throughout the film. It is the 12th feature from the prolific Dupieux whose most recent film Smoking Causes Coughing premiered at Cannes last May.
Contact: Kinology

Dead Leaves (Fin)
Aki Kaurismäki
Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s 20th feature film, Dead Leaves will be the fourth film continuing the themes of his working class trilogy that also includes Shadows In Paradise, Ariel and The Match Factory Girl. The story follows a shop assistant, played by Alma Pöysti, and a sandblaster, played by Jussi Vatanen. Kaurismäki’s long time cinematographer Timo Salminen will continue their collaboration.
Contact: The Match Factory

Disco Boy (Fr)
Giacomo Abbruzzese
This first feature follows the intertwining stories of a French Foreign Legion fighter and a man in a village in the Niger Delta fighting oil companies who kidnaps French nationals. The Italian-born Abbruzzese wrote and developed the film through Cannes’ Cinefondation residency and it is produced by Films Grand Huit which is behind César-winning short film Les Petites Mains alongside Dugong Films, Panache Productions and La Compagnie Cinématographique.
Contact: Charades

Do Not Expect Too Much From The End Of The World (Rom-Cro)
Radu Jude
Previously titled A Case History, the latest film from Romanian director Radu Jude is composed of two parts. The first is a road movie following an overworked production assistant on assignment for a multinational corporation; the second follows the making of a corporate film. The film is produced by Ada Solomon and Adrian Sitaru of Romania’s 4Proof Film with Ankica Juric-Tilic of Croatia’s Kinoramam, with co-producers from France, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. Most recently, Jude won the 2021 Berlinale Golden Bear for Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn.
Contact: 4Proof Film

Ebba (Nor-Fr-Sw)
Johanna Pyykkö
Johanna Pyykkö makes her debut feature after her short film The Manila Lover played at Cannes Critics’ Week 2019. The thriller is about a lonely 18-year-old  who finds a wounded man in the Oslo harbour. When she discovers he has amnesia, she lies and tells him they are lovers. Dyveke Bjørkly Graver and Andrea Berentsen Ottmar’s new Eye Eye Pictures produces alongside Oslo Pictures, which made The Worst Person in the World).
Contact: Eye Eye Pictures

Empty Nets (Ger-Iran)
Behrooz Karamizade
German-based Behrooz Karamizade’s feature debut is set in contemporary Iran and focuses on a young generation that sees no prospects for itself in the country due to international sanctions, high unemployment and the oppressive Islamic ruling system. Behrooz’s 2013 graduation film from the Kunsthochschule in Kassel, Bahar Im Wunderland, was shown at more than 150 film festivals and won 20 awards. His screenplay forEmpty Nets won the German Film Awards’ Golden Lola for best unfilmed screenplay in 2021.
Contact: Basis Berlin

Eternal (Den-Ice)
Ulaa Salim
New Europe Film Sales is partnering again with Danish filmmaker Salim, having sold his 2019 thriller Sons Of Denmark, a Rotterdam title. Eternal is a sci-fi love story following a climate scientist on a mission to stop a global deep-sea threat, who becomes obsessed with getting the love of his life back. Daniel Muhlendorph of Denmark’s Hyæne Film is producing, with Iceland’s Netop Films; the film shot in Denmark, Norway and Iceland from April last year, with a Danish theatrical release already set for August 2023.
Contact: Jan Naszewski, New Europe Film Sales

Floating In The Vacuum (Tun-Fr-Be-It-KSA-Qatar)
Mohamed Ben Attia
Floating In The Vacuum is the third feature from Tunisian director Mohamed Ben Attia, known for Hedi that won the best first film and best actor prizes in Berlin in 2016 and Dear Son that premiered at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes in 2018. The film is produced by Tunisia’s Nomadis Image with Belgium’s Les Films du Fleuve and France’s Tanit Films. It is about a man fresh out of jail who sets out to find his son and take him far away to show him his amazing discovery.
Contact: Luxbox

Finalmente L’Alba (It)
Saverio Costanzo
After two seasons of My Brilliant Friend Italian director Saverio Costanzo returns to his film roots with Finalmente L’Alba (which translates as Finally Dawn.) Set in the 1950s the feature follows a young aspiring actress, played by Italian newcomer Rebecca Antonaci, over the course of a single, long, intense night in Rome’s Cinecittà Studios. Produced by Wildside and RAI Cinema, the cast includes Lily James, who plays a Hollywood star, Rachel Sennott of Shiva Baby, Joe Keery of Stranger Things and Willem Dafoe.
Contact: Wildside

Last Summer (Fr)
Catherine Breillat
Breillat’s first film since  Abuse Of Weakness screened at Toronto in 2013 is now in post and stars Léa Drucker alongside Olivier Rabourdin, Clotilde Courau and the young Samuel Kircher. It is about a lawyer who has an affair with her 17-year-old stepson. The film is produced by Said Ben Said of SBS Productions, whose recent credits include produced Paul Verhoeven’s Benedetta and Ira Sachs’ Frankie. Breillat has launched several titles at Cannes including The Last Mistress and Sex Is Comedy, while Fat Girl and Bluebeard premiered at Berlin.
Contact: Pyramide International

Handling The Undead (Nor-Swe)
Dir. Thea Hvistendahl
Handling The Undead is an Oslo-set zombie movie that also explores themes of loss, grief and hope. Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist, who also wrotet Border and Let the Right One In) adapts the script from his own novel. The Worst Person in the World’s Renate Reinsve and Anders Danielsen Lie reunite to lead the cast. Hvistendahl makes her feature debut with the character-given horror drama following three families living through a strange electrical disturbance. Neon has already acquired North American and UK rights.
Contact: TrustNordisk

Haunted Heart (Sp-Col)
Fernando Trueba
Oscar-winner Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) directs Matt Dillon, Aida Folch and Juan Pablo Urrego in this romantic thriller set on a beautiful and remote Greek island, where a young woman arrives to work in a fancy seaside restaurant. She wins the heart of a charming co-worker, but she falls hopelessly in love with the inscrutable bistro chief Max, a solitary American. Sold at the AFM to Latin America, Italy, Greece, CIS and Turkey, the film is a production of Fernando Trueba Producciones Cinematográficas and Colombia’s Caracol Inc.
: Film Constellation 

Holly (Belg)
Fien Troch
Troch won Best Director in Venice’s Horizons section for her 2016 feature Home and hopes are high for Holly. This is an eerie drama about a 15-year-old girl regarded by her community as a saviour in the wake of a huge school fire. Palme D’Or winners the Dardennes are aboard as coproducers through Les Films Du Fleuve. Antonio Lombardo of Prime Time is producer. Leading French outfit MK2 handles sales.
Contact: MK2

Housekeeping For Beginners (N Mac)
Goran Stolevski
Macedonian-born, Melbourne-raised director Stolevski made 25 short films before last year’s feature debut You Won’t Be Alone, which launched to acclaim at Sundance. He quickly followed that with Melbourne premiere Of An Age, and is almost ready with a third feature, starring Anamaria Marinca as a queer woman who has to adopt her partner’s children in order to save their patchwork family in Skopje.
Contact: Marija Dimitrova, List Production

Il Sol Dell’Avvenire (It)
Nanni Moretti
Legendary Italian director Nanni Moretti returns behind and in front of the camera for this dramedy set in summertime Rome. A period piece that jumps between the 1950s and 1970s, it follows a famous film director struggling to complete the most ambitious film of his career – one that deals with political revolutions, love and the circus world. Meanwhile he has to navigate actors’ egos, directing elephants and dealing with his wife who is also the film’s producer. Moretti stars alongside Mathieu Amalric, Margherita Buy, Barbora Bobulova and Silvio Orlando.
Contact: Kinology

Io Capitano (It-Bel)
 Matteo Garrone
Seydou Sarr and Moustapha Fall star in this migrant drama about two young boys who leave Dakar for Europe, embarking on a contemporary odyssey across desert and sea. Io Capitano is the first time Garrone has set a feature outside of Italy; he is known for titles including 2008’s Gomorrah, which won the Grand Jury Prize in Competition at Cannes. More recently in 2020 his Pinocchio received several Oscar nominations after premiering at the Berlinale.
Contact: Pathé International

I Told You So (It)
Ginevra Elkann
Lorenzo Mieli’s Fremantle-owned The Apartment shot Elkann’s second feature in spring last year, with producers Simone Gattoni and Paolo Sorrentino; The Match Factory boarded at the end of shooting. A cast of Italian luminaries includes Marisa Borini, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Valeria Golino, Danny Huston and Greta Scacchi get together for a January weekend in Rome when a sudden heatwave causes people and animals to lose self-control. Having made her name as a producer, Elkann’s debut If Only opened Locarno 2019.
Contact: The Match Factory

Jeanne du Barry (Fr)
Jeanne du Barry is one of the most buzzed-about titles from France this year, partly because it stars Johnny Depp in his first on screen role since his very public court battle. Depp aside, Maïwenn is one of France’s most prized filmmakers and is back with her sixth feature following Cannes-winning Polisse and César-nominated DNA among others. The film also stars a who’s who of local talent including Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud, Noémie Lvovsky, Pascal Greggory, India Hair and Pierre Richard. The period drama is inspired by the life of King Louis XV’s titular royal mistress and shot in Versailles and in multiple chateaus throughout France.
Contact: Wild Bunch International

Je’Vida (Fin)
 Katja Gauriloff
Gauriloff (Baby Jane, Kaisa’s Enchanted Forest) digs into her own family’s origins with this first film ever made in the Skolt Sámi language. The historical drama is structured in three different time periods and explores memory, survival and personal growth against the backdrop of assimilation policies with indigenous communities. The project won the Finnish Film Affair’s top prize in September 2022.
Contact: Oktober Oy

Just The Two of Us (L’Amour et les Fôrets) (Fr)
Valérie Donzelli
Festival favourites Virginie Efira and Melvil Poupaud come together for this toxic relationship drama from Declaration of War and Marguerite & Julien filmmaker Donzelli. The film is co-written by Happening director Audrey Diwan and produced by Happening producers Rectangle Productions. Based on the novel by Eric Reinhardt, Efira plays a woman who, little by little, finds herself caught in the grip of a possessive and dangerous man, played by Poupaud.
Wild Bunch International

Kalak (Den-Gre-Swe-Nor-Fin-Neth)
Isabella Eklöf
Danish director and screenwriter Isabella Eklöf launched her buzzy debut Holiday at Sundance 2018 and co-wrote Ali Abbasi’s Border. Her second feature Kalak follows Jan, a nurse and father who was sexually abused as a teenager. Working in Greenland, he tries to connect to the culture with sex. Eklöf wrote the Kalak script alongside Kim Leine and Sissel Dalsgaard Thomsen, adapted from Leine’s novel. Nadim Carlsen (Holiday, Border, Holy Spider) serves as DoP.
Contact: Manna Film

Kidnapped (It-Fr-Ger)
Marco Bellocchio
Octogenarian Bellocchio is following 2019 hit The Traitor with another historical drama, about a Jewish boy in 1858 who is kidnapped and converted to Catholicism (the film’s original title was The Conversion). Italy’s Kavac, France’s Ad Vitam and The Match Factory’s production arm Match Factory Productions shot the Italian-language film in summer last year in Italy and France. Bellocchio’s last three features have debuted in Cannes; the previous three started in Venice.
Contact: The Match Factory

La Chimera (It-Fr-Switz)
Alice Rohrwacher
Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher has her most international-facing film to date, with a cast including Josh O’Connor, Isabella Rossellini and Alice’s older sister Alba Rohrwacher. Shot in Southern Tuscany early last year and now in post-production, O’Connor stars as a young British archaeologist who becomes involved in an international network of stolen Etruscan artifacts in the 1980s. Rohrwacher is a Cannes habitué, with all three of her previous solo directorial features having debuted on the Croisette, with the last two in Competition. Parasite and Triangle Of Sadness distributor Neon took US rights in May.
Contact: The Match Factory

L’Autre Laurens (Belg)
Claude Schmitz
L’Autre Laurens is the latest feature from Belgian director Claude Schmitz whose experimental hybrid film Lucie Loses Her Horse screened at the Brussels International Film Festival in 2021. L’Autre Laurens is a more classic production, this time focusing on a private detective whose niece asks him to look into her father’s death which stirs up the detective’s own memories and gets him embroiled in false identities, fantasy and drug trafficking. French actor Olivier Rabourdin stars alongside Marc Barbé, Tibo Vandenborre and Francis Soetens in a co-production from Belgium’s Wrong Men and France’s Chevaldeuxtrois.
Contact: Wrong Men

Le Retour (Fr)
Catherine Corsini
Corsini’s films have screened in Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Rotterdam and Locarno. Her latest stars Aissatou Diallo Sagna as a 40-something woman working for a wealthy Parisian family who invites her to join them on a summertime trip to Corsica along with her own daughters. It turns out that the woman and her family had fled the island years earlier under tragic circumstances so the return visit stirs up memories and emotion. The film stars mostly newcomers alongside the more well-known Denis Polyades and Virginie Ledoyen. Le Pacte will distribute the film in France.
Contact:CHAZ Productions

Liminov, The Ballad Of Eddie (Fr-It-Rus)
Kirill Serebrennikov
Serebrennikov’s Tchaikovsky’s Wife and Petrov’s Flu previously screened in Cannes and his next film is already among this year’s most buzzy titles. Based on Emmanuell Carrère’s best-selling novel Liminov, the film stars Ben Whishaw and Russian actress Viktoria Miroshnichenko. The story follows titular character Liminov, described as a “post-ideology radical,” through the second half of the 20th century journeying through Moscow, New York and Paris all the way to prisons in Siberia. The original novel was translated worldwide in 35 countries and has sold 2.5 million copies in Europe alone.
Contact: Pathé International

Madrid Is It (Sp)
Antonio Méndez Esparza
Winner of Cannes Critics’ Week in 2021 with emigration drama Aquí Y Allá, Esparza’s third fiction feature is a revenge thriller with comedic touches based on a script penned by the director and the writer director Clara Roquet, whose film Libertad also played in Cannes Critics’ Week in 2021. The film follows Lucía, who has a quiet life, a peculiar sense of humour and of duty, and a dreamy nature. All changes when she suddenly loses her job and decides to reinvent herself, working as a taxi driver. Wanda and Aquí y Allí produce this film starring Malena Alterio and Aitana Sánchez Gijón.
Contact: Film Factory  (

Making Of…(Fr)
Cédric Kahn
Billed as “a film about a social disorder that turns into a shooting disaster,” this comic fiasco story is Kahn’s 12th film following a career of festival-friendly fare including The Prayer (Berlin Silver Bear for Best Actor 2018), Wild Life (San Sebastian’s Special Jury Prize 2014), Red Lights( Berlin Competition 2004) and Roberto Succo (Cannes Competition 2001). His latest film features an A-list French cast including Denis Podalydès, Jonathan Cohen, Stefan Crepon and Emmanuelle Bercot and is produced by Olivier Delbosc for Curiosa Films.
Contact: Elle Driver


Source: (c) NFI World Sales


Mastergame (Hu)
Barnabás Tóth
In this “free adaptation” of Stefan Zweig’s The Royal Game, a young rebel couple flees Russian tanks in Budapest in 1956. Director Tóth’s previous feature Those Who Remained (2019) premiered at Telluride Film Festival and was shortlisted for Best International Oscar in 2020. Mastergame, which stars Károly Hajduk and Pál Mácsai, should be ready for May. Sales are handled by NFI World Sales.
Contact: NFI World Sales  

My Own France (Ma France à Moi) (Fr)
Benoit Cohen
Cohen wrote and directed this film based on his bookMohammad, My Mother And Me. The film tells the true story of a woman, played by acclaimed actress Fanny Ardant, living alone since the death of her husband who takes in an Afghan refugee against the advice of her friends and family. Ardant is one of France’s most iconic actresses and this timely refugee drama combined with Cohen’s appeal (Les Violette, Qui M’aime Me Suive) should put this on a festival must-have list. Now in post, the film should be ready in time for a run in the spring or autumn festival season.
Contact: Other Angle Pictures

Nuovo Olimpo (It)
Dir. Ferzan Ozpetek
The fourteenth film by festival regular Ferzan Ozpetek, Nuovo Olimpo, is his first collaboration with Netflix. Produced by Tilde Corsi and Gianni Romoli, Nuovo Olimpo is an R&C Produzioni production with Faros Film. Set in the late 1970s and shot in Rome, it centres on a young and beautiful couple who meet by chance and fall madly in love. An unexpected event, however, separates them – and for 30 years they pursue the hope of finding each other again. It stars Damiano Gavino and Andrea Di Luigi.
Contact: Netflix

Occupied City (Neth)
Steve McQueen
Oscar winning director McQueen’s feature doc is based on his partner Bianca Stigter’s book, Atlas Of An Occupied City: Amsterdam 1940-1945, which examines life in the city under the Nazi occupation. It is produced through Floor Onrust at Amsterdam-based A Family Affair along with McQueen’s outfit, Lammas Park. A24, New Regency and Film4 are also on board a film which festival programmers will be fighting for.
Contact: Family Affair Films

On the Adamant (Fr)
Nicolas Philibert
DocumentaryOn the Adamant follows patients and caregivers at a day care centre with a unique floating structure located in the middle of the Seine river in central Paris. The film is produced by France’s TS Productions and Japan’s Longride and Les Films du Losange will release the film in France. Philibert is a festival favorite whose Etre et Avoir premiered in Cannes in 2002 followed by La Maison de la Radio at the Berlinale in 2013 and Each and Every Moment in Locarno in 2018.
Contact: Les Films du Losange

Opponent (Swe-Nor)
Dir. Milad Alami
Alami’s second feature, after 2018’s The Charmer, recently won the TitraFilm Award at Les Arcs’ Works in Progress presentations. The story is about a man who tries to settle his family in northern Sweden, have been forced to flee Iran. He joins the local wrestling club against his wife’s wishes. Producer Annika Rogell of Tangy has credits including festival hits Aniara and My Skinny Sister.
Contact: Tangy

Party of Fools (Fr)
Arnaud Des Pallières
This period piece set in 1890s Paris is a story of female solidarity inspired by true events that stars some of France’s most famous actresses including Mélanie Thierry, Marina Fois, Carole Bouquet and Yolande Moreau. The amibitious title from Coda producer Philippe Rousselet and Jonathan Blumenthal is a portrait of women who dare to defy the destinies mapped out for them at the time. It is Des Pallières’ eighth feature film after Michael Kohlhaas (Cannes Competition 2013), Orphan (TIFF and San Sebastián Competition 2016) and Park (Venice’s Orizzonti 2008).
Contact: Elle Driver

Robot Dreams (Sp)
Pablo Berger
Robot Dreams is Spanish director Pablo Berger’s fourth feature and first foray into animation after his silent melodrama Blancanieves earned an Oscar nod for Spain in 2013 in addition to two prizes in San Sebastian and 10 Goyas. Adapted from the popular 2007 graphic novel, the story is set in an imaginary 1980s New York populated by animals with no definable age or gender and is the director’s own personal love letter to New York where he lived for a decade.
Contact: Elle Driver

Salem (Fr)
Jean-Bernard Marlin
Salem is Marlin’s sophomore feature following Shéhérazade that earned him the Best First Film César award in 2019 after the film debuted in Cannes in 2018. Salem follows Djibril, a gang member in a rough neighbourhood in Marseille whose pregnant daughter belongs to a rival gang. When the gang wars escalate, the couple attempts to flee with their unborn child, but the law catches up with them. 12 years later in prison, Djibril searches for his daughter.
Contact: Wild Bunch International

Sidonie au Japon (Fr)
Elise Girard
No film festival is complete without Isabelle Huppert. The famously busy French actress heads to Japan as the titular character of Girard’s third feature following 2010’s Belleville-Tokyo and 2017’s Strange Birds. In Sidonie au Japon, Huppert plays an author on a book tour mourning her late husband. Her Japanese journey is haunted by memories of her husband, the melancholy mood of her publisher and cultural challenges in a country far from her home. August Diehl and Tsuyoshi Ihara co-star.
Contact: 10:15! Productions

Skunk (Belg)
Koen Mortier
Mortier, whose previous projects include the outrageous dark comedy Ex Drummer and the recent Netflix series Voices Of Liberation, is eyeing an A-list festival berth for Skunk. It’s the story of a neglected and troubled teenager living in a haze of sex, drugs and alcohol. The film is shot by leading Belgian cinematographer Nicolas Karakatsanis whose credits range from Bullhead to I, Tonya and Cruella. Eurdyce Gysel produces through Czar Film. London-based Reason8 is handling sales.
Contact: Reason8  

Society Of The Snow (Sp-Fr-Chile)
Dir. J. A. Bayona
The latest film from The Impossible and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom director Juan Antonio Bayona could secure a festival birth for Netflix. It chronicles the crash of Uruguayan Air Force flight 571, chartered to bring a rugby team to Chile, which crashed in the Andes. Only 29 of the 45 passengers survived the crash and had to resort to extreme measures to stay alive. The film is based on the book La sociedad de la nieve by Pablo Vierci, and filmed in Spain, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina.
Contact: Netflix

Soul Mates (Les Âmes Soeurs) (Fr)
André Techiné
Soul Mates is veteran French director Techiné’ 30th film and stars current French ‘It’ girl Noémie Merlant alongside Benjamin Voisin in a story about a young soldier injured in Mali who is repatriated to France and grapples with amnesia and recovery as his sister takes him to their family house in the Pyrenées to recover. The film is produced by Curiosa Films, the prolific French production house behind Rodeo, Stars at Noon, A Radiant Girl, Between Two Worlds and other festival and critical successes.
Contact: Playtime

Sweet Dreams (Neth-Swe-Indonesia)
Ena Sendijarevic
Shot on the French island of La Reunion in July and August last year, Sendijarevic’s second feature depicts the events triggered by the death of a Dutch sugar plantation owner, who leaves his Indian Ocean island estate to his young illegitimate son – the child of his Indonesian housemaid. There will be interest in how the Amsterdam-based Bosnian filmmaker follows up her 2019 debut Take Me Somewhere Nice, which debuted at Rotterdam before a festival run that included Cannes parallel section ACID. Ruben Ostlund’s Swedish company Plattform Produktion is a co-producer.
Contact: Lemming Film

The Bastard (Den-Ger-Swe)
Nikolaj Arcel
Zentropa produces the €8m Danish historical drama The Bastard (previously announced with the title King’s Land). Arcel (A Royal Affair) directs a cast led by Mads Mikkelsen and Amanda Collin. Anders Thomas Jensen co-wrote the script with Arcel, about a bold mid-1700s solder who tries to tame a brutal land. TrustNordisk has pre-sold to the US (Magnolia), Germany (Plaion) and France (The Jokers).
Contact: TrustNordisk

The Beast (Fr)
Bertrand Bonello
The Beast is the ninth feature from Bonello, who has been selected six times for Cannes and was most recently in Berlin with Coma. The film stars Léa Seydoux and George MacKay and is set in the near future where emotions have become a threat. Seydoux stars as Gabrielle, a woman who decides to purify her DNA in a machine to rid her of any strong feelings. But then she meets Louis (Mackay) with whom she develops a powerful connection.
Contact: Kinology

The Beautiful Summer (It)
Laura Luchetti
Luchetti’s Twin Flower premiered at Toronto in 2018, and later at festivals such as London and Busan. Her latest is set in Turin in 1938, where a 16-year-old girl, played by Yile Yara Vianello, is desperate to escape the mundane reality of everyday life and so begins a romance with a young artist she meets through the introduction of an acquaintance, a stylish and sophisticated model.
Contact: True Colours

The Book Of Solutions (Fr)
Michel Gondry
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry is back after a nearly decade-long big screen break following his 2015 comedy Microbe and Gasoline. Ubiquitous French actor Pierre Niney stars as a frustrated filmmaker battling inner demons that are stifling his creativity alongside Blanche Gardin, Camille Rutherford and Vincent Elbaz. Gondry’s long-awaited return combined with the autobiographical parallels of the story and a star-studded French cast make The Book of Solutions a strong festival contender.
Contact: Kinology

The Editorial Office

Source: © Darya Averchenko

‘The Editorial Office’

The Editorial Office (Ukr)
Roman Bondarchuk
Ukrainian filmmaker Roman Bondarchuk is a familiar figure on the festival circuit with films like feature doc Ukrainian Sheriffs and drama Volcano, which premiered in Karlovy Vary. His satirical drama The Editorial Office is made through Moon Man and produced by Darya Bassel. It’s about a young researcher who accidentally becomes a journalist at a local newspaper where the normal rules about truth and transparency don’t apply. South Films in Ukraine and German outfit Elemag are also involved. This should be ready for the second half of the year, maybe even in time for Cannes.
Contact: Darya Bassel

The Empire (Fr)
Bruno Dumont
The Empire is Dumont’s follow-up film to 2021’s France and 2019’s Joan of Arc. Dumont has united three of France’s leading ladies - Camille Cottin, Lyna Khoudri and Ana Maria Vartolomei - alongside the ubiquitous Fabrice Luchini for the Northern France-based story described as a “galactic comedy.” The film juxtaposes banal scenes of the daily life of inhabitants of a small coastal fishing village with interplanetary sci-fi battles between the forces of good and evil.
Contact: Memento International

The Herd (Bul)
Milko Lazarov
When the animals in an isolated Bulgarian village are struck down by a disease, the villagers become suspicious of an unusual family including a girl with a ‘butterfly wings’ bone malformation. This story of superstition and xenophobia filmed last autumn in the Stara Planina mountain range, with crew having to carry gear to inaccessible locations. It is a third feature for Lazarov, who scored international success with second film Aga, a Berlin Out-of-competition entry that was the country’s entry to the 2020 Oscars.
Contact: Films Boutique

The Movie Teller (Sp-Fr-Chile)
Lone Scherfig
The latest film from Oscar and Bafta-nominated director Scherfig’s (An Education) centres on woman who becomes a “movie teller” – who retells the stories of movies she has seen - in a Chilean village where many people cannot afford cinema tickets. Starring Bérénice Bejo, Antonio de la Torre and Daniel Brühl, the Spanish-language film is based on a novel by Chilean writer and former mine worker Hernán Rivera Letelier. The Movie Teller is produced through A Contracorriente Films, Selenium Films and Al Tiro Films. The UK’s Embankment handles worldwide sales, co-representing Latin American sales with Latido. The script is penned by Walter Salles and Rafa Russo.
Contact: EmbankmentLatido Films

The Peasants (Pol)
Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman
When The Peasants landed on last year’s list, UK filmmaker Welchman had just opened his fourth painting animation studios in Kyiv, Ukraine. Three weeks later it had to close due to the war, with Welchman’s Breakthru Films helping several of its Ukrainian artists flee to safety. The Kyiv studio reopened in August, and The Peasants – an adaptation of Wladyslaw Stanislaw Reymont’s 1904 novel tracing the lives of Polish peasants through the four seasons – is now set to launch this year. Kobiela and Welchman have major pedigree through 2017’s Loving Vincent, which secured an animated feature Oscar nomination and over $42m at the worldwide box office.
Contact: Jan Naszewski, New Europe Film Sales

There is No Shadow in the Desert (Fr-Isr)
Yossi Aviram
Israeli filmmaker Yossi Aviram co-wrote this drama with Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi who also stars. She plays the daughter of a Holocaust survivor who travels to Tel-Aviv to act as a witness in the trial of a former Nazi collaborator and hopes her reluctant father will join her to testify. Shot in France and Israel, the Hebrew and French-language title was produced by Les Films du Poisson. Bruni-Tedeschi is a festival favorite both on screen and behind the camera (Forever Young, The Divide, Summer of 85) and Aviram earned critical acclaim for his last feature The Dune, also produced by les Film du Poisson.
Contact: Les Films du Losange

Touch (Ice)
Baltasar Kormakur
Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur, who recently directed Idris Elba in South Africa-set survival thriller Beast, goes global again with Touch, a feature drama shot between Iceland, the UK and Japan. Focus Features is on board the story of an Icelandic restauranter who goes on a journey to understand the mysterious disappearance of his Japanese girlfriend 50 years ago when they lived in London. Kormákur’s RVK Studios produces in collaboration with Mike Goodridge’s Good Chaos in the UK.
Contact: Focus Features

Un Silence (Belg)
Joachim Lafosse
The Belgian director’s 10th feature stars Daniel Auteuil and Emmanuel Devos. Details of the plot remain under wraps, but Lafosse is known for his intimate family portraits with often disturbing psychological undertones and has said the film focuses on the power of silence and the consequences of not speaking out. Lafosse premiered The Restless (Les Intranquilles) in Cannes Competition in 2021 and could be due for a Croisette return.
Contact: Les Films du Losange

Visions (Fr)
Yann Gozlan
Visions is the fifth feature from Yann Gozlan whose films have achieved both box office success and critical praise. His thriller Black Box (Boite Noire) sold 1.18 million tickets during its French release and was nominated for five César awards. Visions stars Diane Kruger alongside Matthieu Kassovitz and Amira Casar. The story revolves around a woman balancing a career as a pilot with her blissful marriage. One day, she runs into a woman she’d had an affair with decades earlier and the reunion sucks her into a nightmarish spiral.
Contact: SND Films

The Wall (Belg)
Philippe van Leeuw
This Belgian feature was filmed in the US on the Arizona-Mexico border. Vicky Krieps stars as a border patrol officer on a mission to defend America who kills a harmless migrant. Her fellow officer tries to cover up the crime, but a Native American man and his grandson witness her crime and her word is pitted against theirs. The timely story set against the backdrop of the US-Mexico border crisis is Van Leeuw’s latest politically-charged title following Insyriated which won the Berlinale Audience Award in 2017 and The Day God Walked Away which won the New Director Award in San Sebastian in 2009.
Contact: Indie Sales

White Plastic Sky (Hun)
Tibor Banoczki, Sarolta Szabo
Hungarian animation is hoping for an international breakthrough with this ecological dystopian sci-fi, set in a world without animals or plants where a young man breaks every rule to save his wife. Rising stars of the Hungarian scene, Banoczki and Szabo are making their feature debut on the film, having previously made shorts including Sundance 2012 selection Les Conquerants. Hungary’s Salto Films led production with Slovakia’s Artichoke, with backing from Eurimages. The project went through Cartoon Movie in 2021 and is now in post.
Contact: Films Boutique