Liberator Films, the Paris-based arm of the expanding Zentropa Entertainment empire, is seeking to develop a slate of films that go beyond the titles associated with Dogme95 and Lars Von Trier.
"There has never been a better time to make French films as so many other French film-makers are turning their attention to English-language projects," said Marianne Slot, head of Liberator. "We are actively targeting French directors who can meet the challenges we have set."
Liberator and Slot have until now been most visible as the French co-producers of the high-profile von Trier projects, including notably Breaking The Waves and Cannes competition film Dancer In The Dark and Festen. With its access to Canal Plus and Arte as well as the French subsidy system, Liberator played a vital role in the financing of these films. "No other French producer would have been able to obtain the terms we got for Lars' films," said Slot.
Liberator is now readying a slate of films which will tap into the available "fonds de soutien" generated by the previous pictures. These will kick off with Mon Papa d'Amerique, a French-language feature to be directed by Belgium's Daniel Hiquet. The comedy drama about a small boy's search for his father will shoot at the end of this year and be delivered in time for Cannes or Venice.
Slot is also preparing a series of ten short films that will film later this year in French according to Dogme rules. Each will be a stand alone project, but they will also be put together as a feature-length ensemble which is expected to get theatrical release and screen on Zentropa's TVropa.com webcast operation.
Liberator's more independent stance has been facilitated by the return of Vibeke Windeloev to Zentropa headquarters, where she will produce future Von Trier projects. "Vibeke, who is one of the best producers in Europe, is my active partner in Copenhagen and will maintain links between the two companies," said Slot. "On the technology front Liberator definitely follows Zentropa, but we know that artistically and creatively we have a lot to bring to Zentropa operations such as TVropa."