'Moon The Panda'

Source: Gaumont – Mai-Juin Production

‘Moon The Panda’

French studio Gaumont has unveiled a hefty genre-hopping Cannes slate complete with all new acquisitions Gilles de Maistre’s family adventure Moon The Panda, Stéphane Brizé’s romance drama Out Of Season and Lucas Bernard’s romantic comedy In The Sub For Love in addition to a slew of market premieres and official selection festival titles.

New acquisitions

Moon The Panda is the latest film from the master of the human-animal adventure tale Gilles de Maistre following Mia And The White Lion and The Wolf And The Lion. The film highlights the friendship between a boy and a panda and is set to shoot end of May in China’s Sichuan mountains.

“It’s a family film in English and the panda is an emblematic animal that is the universal symbol of wildlife protections and sparks empathy among all audiences,” Gaumont’s EVP international sales and distribution Alexis Cassanet said of the title with “big commercial potential”. Like de Maistre’s other films, it blends fiction with real-life shots of animals. Gaumont co-produces with Mai-Juin Productions (Mia And The White Lion, The Wolf And The Lion).

The studio is also on board Stephane Brizé’s Out Of Season, an intimate romantic drama starring Guillaume Canet opposite Alba Rohrwacher who also stars in sister Alice Rohrwacher’s Cannes Competition title La Chimera this year. The duo play former lovers – he a famous actor in Paris, she a piano teacher – who cross paths years later at a seaside resort.

Brize’s Another World competed in Venice in 2021, while The Measure Of A Man earned the best actor award in Cannes in 2015 for Vincent Lindon. Shooting just wrapped on Out Of Season, which shot and is set in Brittany.

Also new to the Gaumont slate is In The Sub For Love, which is currently filming in France and stars Pio Marmai (The Three Musketeers) and Eye Haidara (Someone Somewhere) as an airline steward and tough submarine officer who have a one-night stand when stranded in a storm that leads to further adventures. The fast-paced screwball comedy romance is produced by Gaumont with Les Grandes Espaces.

Cannes Market premieres

Gaumont will also unveil a new trailer for Cat & Dog: The Great Crossing, a family adventure comedy that blends live-action and CGI in the vein of Paddington. Directed by Reem Kherici, the film stars Kherici alongside Alibi.com 2 and Babysitting star and director Philippe Lacheau and Franck Dubosc, and is produced by French production house Mandarin alongside La Station Animation. The film pairs the owner of a famed influencer cat and an international thief whose dog swallowed a stolen ruby who must team up to find their pets.

Also market premiering in Cannes is The Intouchables duo Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache’s A Difficult Year. The cast includes Pio Marmai, Jonathan Cohen, Noemie Merlant and Mathieu Amalric and follows a duo of compulsive spenders with debt piling up who meet eco-activists and join the green movement. A Difficult Year is produced by Quad Films (The Intouchables) and Ten Cinema (C’est La Vie!).

Gaumont will also market premiere The Edge Of The Blade from Vincent Perez whose Alone In Berlin competed in Berlin in 2016. Set in the world of 19th-century fencing competitions in Paris, the period drama stars Perez opposite Roschy Zem and Doria Tillier and is about a man out to avenge a death and a feminist ahead of her time who battle side by side to defend their honour through duels.

Gaumont also market premieres Clement Michel’s holiday comedy Christmas Unplanned, produced by the studio, starring Franck Dubosc and Emmanuelle Devos as a couple who find themselves alone at Christmas and decide to take in lonely seniors from a retirement home.

Rounding out the company’s market premieres is comedy Yo Mama from directing duo Leila Sy (Street Flow) and Amadou Mariko about three mothers who find out their young sons have made a shocking rap video and decide to make a hip-hop video clip of their own to restore the communication with their kids. Gaumont produces alongside Douze Doigts Production (Simply Black) in the film starring Claudia Tagbo, Jean-Pascal Zadi, Zaho and Sophie-Marie Larrouy.

Gaumont has also boarded Abderrahmane Sissako’s Black Tea, which is currently in post-production. It is the director’s first feature since 2014’s Timbuktu, and follows a woman who flees her wedding day and leaves the Ivory Coast for a new life in Guangzhou, China where she discovers the ancient art of the ritual of tea. Set between China, the Ivory Coast and Cape Verde, the film features Girlhood star Nina Melo and Han Chang and is a co-production from Cinefrance Studios (Falcon Lake), Archipel 35 (Tori And Lokita) and Sissako’s production company Dune Vision. Gaumont will release the film in France and Cohen Media is handling distribution in the US.

On the festival side, Gaumont world premieres Stephanie Di Giusto’s Rosalie in Un Certain Regard. Starring Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Benoit Magimel, the film is a love story set in 1870s France about a young woman hiding the secret that she is covered in body hair and the man who marries her. Alain Attal’s Trésor Films (My King, Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Kingdom) produces.

Magimel also stars in Tran Anh Hung’s Competition feature The Pot-au-Feu opposite Juliette Binoche and produced by Olivier Delbosc’s prolific Curiosa Films (Lost Illusions, Stars At Noon). The two play chefs who strike up a romance that Cassanet describes as “an impressive choreography of food, sound, texture, and gesture, like a ballet.” The director won the Camera d’Or in Cannes for The Scent Of Green Papaya which went on to be nominated for an Oscar.