In the first of a two part series we look at the hot non-English-language films and projects debuting at Mifed.
Against The Wall(Germany)
Word on the street: Fatih Akin's best yet
The word is good on the latest film from writer-director-actor FatihAkin, whose credits include Short Sharp Shock, In July and Solino.Against The Wall (Gegen Die Wand), now in post-production, is a tragiclove story starring Birol Uenel and Sibel Kekilli as a couple who marry forconvenience but fall in love.
Int'l sales: Bavaria FilmInternational, (49) 89 6499 2686
Word on the street: Latest from Son Of The Bride director
Juan Jose Campanella's comedy drama, about the members of a Buenos Airessports club trying to prevent its closure, stars Ricardo Darin (Son Of TheBride and Nine Queens). The $2.5m Spanish-Argentinian collaborationis in post-production.
Int'l sales: Menemsha Entertainment, (1) 310 712 3720
Bayside Shakedown 2(Japan)
Word on the street: Sequel to massive action hit
The highest-grossing live-action Japanese film ever, BaysideShakedown 2 has been filling Japanese theatres since July with its blend offast-paced action, twisty plot and witty commentary on the workings of theJapanese police. Fuji TV is preparing an international version 18 minutesshorter than the Japanese version.
Int'l sales: Toho, (81) 3 3213 6921
Word on the street: Dark Danish drama
Jesper W Nielsen's follow-up to box-office hit Okay is a toughdrama about a young man's unsuccessful attempts to avoid making the samemistakes as his parents. Although the dark material turned off local audiences,the serious tone may be welcomed by international buyers. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau(Black Hawk Down) and Iben Hjejle (High Fidelity) star.
Int'l sales: Nordisk Film International Sales, (45) 33 26 69 95
Word on the street: Complex story about love and betrayal
Kristian Petri's adaptation of Lars Noren's acclaimedSwedish play was a critical sensation when it opened locally in October. Theuncompromising drama sees a young writer fall in love with her middle-agedpublisher, who subsequently leaves his wife. Their abandoned lovers then beginan affair. Pernilla August stars.
Int'l sales: Trust Film Sales, (45) 36 86 87 88
Word on the street: French tale of secrets and lies
Sandrine Bonnaire plays a woman who discovers 40 tumultuousyears of secrets when putting her late parents' affairs in order in this filmfrom director Philippe Lioret (Mademoiselle, Pas D'Histoires!). L'Equipieris produced by Christophe Rossignon's Nord Ouest, the production outfit behindFrance's autumn hit Love Me If You Dare.
Int'l sales: StudioCanal, (33) 1 71 75 89 00
Ferpect Crime (Spain)
Word on the street: Alex de la Iglesia's new crime caper
Sogepaq will field pre-sales at Mifed on this comedy,banking on cult director Alex de la Iglesia's international status. Hismuch-anticipated follow-up to 800 Bullets, about a far-from-perfectcrime committed by a department store attendant, reteams the director with hisscreenwriter partner Jorge Guerricaechevarria. Ferpect Crime, a Spanishco-production with Italy and France, stars Guillermo Toledo (The GalindezFile) and begins shooting in Spain in November.
Int'l sales: Sogepaq, (34) 91 736 7450
House Of The FlyingDaggers (Hong Kong-China)
Word on the street: Martial arts spectacle
Zhang Zimou's first film since Hero stars Crouching Tiger'sZhang Ziyi and Infernal Affairs' Andy Lau. It tells the story of abodyguard and his charge who encounter betrayal, danger and love as theyjourney through a beguiling landscape. Edko Films' Bill Kong is producing withFocus handling European sales outside the UK.
Int'l sales: Focus International, (1) 212 343 9230
Janis And John(France)
Word on the street: Comedy with the late Marie Trintignant
One of the last two features made by actress Marie Trintignant beforeher death this summer, Janis And John opened at number four at the French boxoffice its first week out in mid-October. Directed by Trintignant's ex-husband,Samuel Benchetrit, this comedy thriller sees Sergi Lopez star as a fraudsterwho convinces his wife and an out-of-work actor to pose as Janis Joplin andJohn Lennon in order to get his hands on $117,00 (Eu100,000). Janis And John isa co-production between France's Fidelite Productions and Spain's AlquimiaCinema.
Int'l sales: Wild Bunch, (33) 153 015 024
Old Boy (S Korea)
Word on the street: White-hot Korean thriller
The latest work by Sympathy For Mr Vengeance director ParkChan-wook is based on a Japanese comic book about a man locked up for 15 yearswithout knowing why. On his release, he is given cash and a mobile phone andtold to discover the reason for his imprisonment. Featuring acclaimed actorChoi Min-shik (Chihwaseon), this dark and complex thriller is top on thelist of most Korean critics' most anticipated films.
Int'l sales: Cineclick Asia, (82) 2 538 0211
Word on the street: Animation from Lucky And Zorba director
Directed by Italy's animation maestro Enzo D'Alo, Opopomoz is aboutthree little devils who descend on Naples at Christmas and conspire with ayoung boy to prevent the birth of his brother and Jesus. D'Alo's previousfeatures include Lucky And Zorba.
Int'l sales: MK2, (33) 1 44 67 30 00
Please, Teach MeEnglish (S Korea)
Word on the street: Breezy romantic comedy
A lighthearted comedy by director Kim Sung-soo (Musa) about anabsent-minded public servant who signs up for English classes at a languageinstitute and falls in love with her language partner. Although unlikely tobreak into the European or North American markets, the film's playful depictionof its heroes' struggles with English and its breezy romance is likely to makeit a winner in Asia.
Int'l sales: Cinema Service, (82) 2 2192 8731
Sea Of Silence(Belgium)
Word on the street: Oscar candidate and Celluloid acquisition
Stijn Coninx's film is generating serious buzz, not only because of itsselection as the Belgian Oscar entry or its recent pick up by French saleshouse Celluloid Dreams. Interest has been piqued by Celluloid's request for afour-minute cut and a different ending. Silence tells the story of a younggirl's spiritual coming-of-age in a Catholic family in 1980s Holland. Coninx, aformer Oscar nominee for Daens, works with Walther Vanden Ende, theheralded cinematographer of Toto The Hero, Farinelli and No Man'sLand.
Int'l sales: Celluloid Dreams, (33) 1 49 70 03 70
Untitled Hou HsiaoHsien project (Taiwan-Japan)
Word on the street: Yasujiro Ozu tribute
Taiwanese director and Cannes favourite Hou Hsiao Hsien (Flowers OfShanghai, Goodbye South, Goodbye) has been filming a homage to Yasujiro Ozuas part of a year-long commemoration of the master's centennial. Starringnewcomer Yo Hitoto and Tadanobu Asano (Zatoichi, Bright Future) andbudgeted at $2m, the film explores the relationship between a young journalistand the owner of a second-hand bookstore, who loves her from afar. The filmwill be released in Japan on Dec 12, the 100th anniversary of Ozu's birth.
Int'l sales: Shochiku, (81) 3 5550 1623
Reports by: Mark Schilling,Nancy Tartaglione, Anna Marie de la Fuente, Martin Blaney, Melanie Rodier,Jennifer Green, Darcy Paquet