Hot titles at ninth edition of Paris Project included Vic & Flo Saw a Bear, Evil Woman, Mitrovica, Cannibal and A Screw. Rotterdam Films seals co-production deal on Thai director Sivaroj Kongsakul’s Cinefondation project Arunkarn.

Several French companies are circling Canadian Denis Coté’s Vic & Flo Saw a Bear following its presentation at the Paris Project co-production platform this week, the director has revealed following some 40 individual meetings during the event.

“This is my sixth film. I’m not a newcomer. I’m the subject of no-less than six retrospectives across the world this year. I like the festival scene but I would also like to get my films screened outside festivals.  I sometimes feel like a bit of festival mascot. Everybody kind of knows my name but nobody’s seen my films,” said Coté [pictured], who won Best Director for his thriller Curling at Locarno last year.

The tale of the intense and troubled relationship between two former prison cellmates trying to make a life in a remote village, Vic & Flo Saw a Bear is set to star rising French director/actress Valeria Donzelli, Canadian star Marc-André Grondin and respected Canadian actress Pierrette Robitaille.

Coté’s festival reputation coupled with Donzelli’s presence in the cast appears to have caught the attention of several key French players.

“The budget’s €2.5 million and we’re looking for 20 percent here. We’ve had some good meetings but If we don’t get it, we will go-ahead and shoot anyway,” added Coté, who is producing the film with Canadians Stéphanie Morisette (at the recently created La Maison De Prod) and Sylvain Corbeil (of Metafilms).

Other popular titles at Paris Project included Argentine genre picture about a female assassin Evil Woman, post Kosovo War drama Mitrovica, Cannibal about a terminally ill cannibal who falls in love, and A Screw, a fantasy about two Israeli and Palestinian women who temporarily swap lives.

“There have been some 540 meetings over three days, with each project getting about between 30 and 40 meetings each. I’ve heard some people are even staying on for another two to three days for meetings outside of Paris Project. It’s been a good edition,” said Paris Project head Thibaut Bracq.

Although aimed primarily at connecting international filmmakers with French producers and sales agents, several non-French professionals were in attendance this year, including some 40 independent distributors in Paris for a Europa Distribution conference.

“I’ve heard about some good projects but I now need to read the scripts,” said Michael Weber of Match Factory, attending the Paris Project for the first time.

Rotterdam Films in cooperation with Dutch distributor Contact Films, meanwhile, sealed  a co-production deal on Thai director Sivaroj Kongsakul’s Arunkun, one of six Cannes Cinefondation projects also presented during the course of the Paris Project.

“I first met Sivaroj when his film Eternity screened in competition in Rotterdam last year. Then we met again during Cannes when the Cinefondation’s George Goldenstein gave a presentation of Arunkun during the festival and now I’ve came to Paris to seal the deal. We’ve taken Benelux rights,” said Rotterdam Films’ Dirk Rijneke.