Finkiel, Fontaine, Dridi, Anspach and Houellebecq at Locarno

Article published on Aug. 7, 2008
community published
Article published on Aug. 7, 2008
Well represented at the 61st Locarno Film Festival (August 6-16), French cinema is hoping for competition success with Emmanuel Finkiel’s Nulle part terre promise (“Nowhere Promised Land”). This documentary – which flirts with the narrative genre – won the 2008 Jean Vigo Award.

Discovered in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight with his debut feature, Tracks (Louis Delluc Award for Best Debut Film and César Award in 2000 for Best Debut Feature and Best Editing), in Nulle part terre promise Finkiel explores three visions of a Europe marked by population movement. The film looks at the individual journeys of a self-assured executive starting out on a promising career, a young spoiled western woman with a fading carefree attitude and a group of illegal workers full of idealism and hope despite their limited future.

Produced by Les films du Poisson and sold by Roissy films, the feature will be released domestically by Sophie Dulac Distribution.

In the Piazza Grande section of open-air screenings, Anne Fontaine’s La fille de Monaco (“The Girl from Monaco”) – starring Fabrice Luchini, Roschdy Zem and Louise Bourgoin – is set to shine. Fontaine picked up the Jean Vigo Award in 1993 for her debut feature and the Golden Osella for Best Screenplay at Venice in 1997. Having been selected in competition at Locarno in 2001 and San Sebastian in 2005, the director saw her latest film – Oh la la! – screen out of competition at Cannes in 2006.

Produced by Soudaine Compagnie in co-production with Ciné@ for a budget of €8.37m (including pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma), La fille de Monaco is the filmmaker’s tenth feature. The title will be released domestically on August 20 by Warner and is being sold internationally by Pyramide.

The Piazza Grande will also screen the international premiere of Khamsa by Karim Dridi, another festival regular. The director’s Pigalle was presented at the Venice Film Festival in 1995 and his latest work, Rage, was selected in the Panorama section at the 2003 Berlinale.

Khamsa was produced by Néon Cinéma for €2.12m, which included co-production backing from Arte France Cinéma, pre-sales from Canal + and a €430,000 advance on receipts from the National Film Centre (CNC). The film will be released domestically on October 8 by Rezo, who are also managing international sales.

Another title set to grace the Piazza Grande screen is Solveig Anspach’s Icelandic/French co-production Back Soon (co-produced by Ex Nihilo). The film is set to be launched in France on August 20 by Bac Films, who are also handling international sales.

Screening in the Filmmakers of the Present competition are Jean-Charles Fitoussi’s Je ne suis pas morte (“I’m Not Dead”, co-produced by Aura été and Ecce Films); Kinogamma Part 1: East and Part 2: Far East directed and produced by Siegfried (international sales - Films Distribution); and David Teboul’s La vie ailleurs (“Life Elsewhere”, produced by Les Films d’Ici).

The Here and Elsewhere line-up includes Pierre Leon’s L’idiot (“The Idiot”), starring Jeanne Balibar and Sylvie Testud (produced by Spyfilms); and Philippe Béziat’s Pelléas et Mélisande, le chant des aveugles (“Pelléas and Mélisande: the Song of the Blind”, produced by Les Films Pélléas).

Finally, the Play Forward section will screen the international premiere of Possibility of an Island by novelist Michel Houellebecq. The film stars Benoît Magimel.

Fabien Lemercier