EXCLUSIVE: Israeli film-maker to develop Micro Robert (working title) with Les Films des Tornelles.
Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid is joining forces with Paris-based production house Les Films des Tournelles to develop a feature about a young Israeli man getting to grips with life in the French capital, provisionally entitled Micro Robert.
“I’m still writing the script but it’s at a relatively advanced stage,” Lapid told Screen. “I’m very excited about the challenge of filming in Paris and putting my own look to a city that has been shot thousands of times before…it could shoot next year.”
“It’s an existentialist comedy about a young Israeli man living in Paris,” added Les Films des Tournelles founding chief Anne-Dominique Toussaint.
The French-language feature is provisionally entitled Micro Robert after the pocket version of one of France’s best-known dictionary brands.
“We won’t set a budget or start trying to finance until we’ve signed off on the script which Nadav is writing,” she added. “I am expecting a first draft this autumn.”
Toussaint’s recent productions include Riad Sattouf’s Jacky in the Kingdom of Women, set in a country controlled by women where men have to wear burqas, which plays in the Jerusalem Film Festival’s Into the Night section on Saturday.
Lapid, whose latest film The Kindergarten Teacher screens in Jerusalem’s feature competition on Tuesday, has had strong links with France since he developed his debut feature Policeman at Cannes’ Cinefondation Residence and also presented it at the festival’s L’Atelier co-production market in 2008.
The Kindergarten Teacher, which premiered in Critics’ Week at Cannes in May, was an Israeli-French co-production by Talia Kleinhendler and Osnat Handelsman-Keren of Tel Aviv-based Pie Films and Carole Scotta of Haut et Court. Le Pacte handles international sales and the film is due for an autumn release in France.
Toussaint explained she first got in touch with Lapid via George Goldenstein of Cannes’ Cinefondation after seeing Policeman.
“I saw it in the cinema in Paris and it made a big impression on me. I wrote to him saying I would like to work with him and whether it was possible to meet up,” says Toussaint.
Other productions in development at Les Films des Tournelles include the next film by Sattouf as well as the directorial debut of actor Louis Garrel and the second film from Rachid Djaidani, whose micro-budget Rengaine did well on the festival circuit picking up the Fipresci Prize in Cannes in 2012, where it screened in Directors’ Fortnight.
Titled Les Deux Amis, Garrel’s film revolves around two good friends who fall for the same woman. Garrel, best known internationally for his performances in A Castle in Italy and The Dreamers, will direct and co-star opposite Vincent Macaigne and Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. It is due to shoot this October.
Toussaint says she cannot reveal too much on Djaidani’s new film bar the fact it is provisionally entitled Tour de France, will star Vincent Lindon and is set against the backdrop of provincial France unlike the Rengaine which was set against the backdrop of inner city Paris.
“I am hoping we can shoot it next year. He is close to finalising the script and Vincent Lindon has signed up,” says Toussaint. “I can’t say more than that because Rachid wants to keep it under wraps.”