Pic unfolds during hazardous yak migration

Hollywood’s fascination with Tibet has spread to Europe, where French producer Jacques Perrin (Costa-Gavras’ “Z”, Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Black and White in Color”) has put together a multicompany consortium to finance Eric Valli’s $7 million drama “Himalaya,” which is currently halfway through an eight-month shoot on location in the Dolpo area of the Tibetan and Nepalaese border.

Investors in the film, which is documentary director/journalist Valli’s first feature, include France 2 Cinema, French independent distributor BAC Films, Productions JMH, Television Suisse Romande (RST), independent German distributor Pandora, Canal Plus and European film funding body Eurimages. BAC holds French theatrical rights; French sales house President Films is handling international sales.

Perrin’s last production, “Microcosmos,” was narrated by Kristin Scott-Thomas and distributed by Miramax Films in the U.S. last year, where it grossed around $1.6 million. France 2, JMH, BAC and RST were also investors in “Microcosmos,” which was directed by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou.

Tibetan-themed pics released last year included Annaud’s “Seven Years in Tibet” and Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun.” Awaiting release is Franz Reichle’s “The Knowledge of Healing,” to be distributed in the U.S. by New York-based specialty outfit In Pictures.

Shot in the Tibetan language, “Himalaya” charts the rivalries and passions that erupt in a Himalayan village during the hazardous annual yak migration.

Valli wrote the story for the film; screenplay was penned by Olivier Dazat. Valli’s previous credits are documentaries “Honey Hunters of Nepal” and “Shadow Catchers.” He is repped by Los Angeles-based Daniel Ostroff Agency.

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