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Paris Project opens screen doors

Mart again pairs with KOFIC and extends regional focus

In its eighth year, Paris Project, the co-production and development market linked to the Paris Cinema Intl. Film Festival, is adding four films in post-production to its screening lineup and opening up its French-Korean co-production forum to European projects.

The screening session will feature eight pics, including four films that were previously presented as projects in development at the market. Among the Paris Project alumni are Victoria Galardi’s family dramedy “Cerro Bayo” (a Uruguay/French co-prod), “High Society” from Thailand’s Aditya Assarat and Brazil’s “Hard Labor,” helmed by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra.

“We’re trying to be coherent and follow up on projects we found interesting at script stage,” explains Thibaut Bracq, head of Paris Project. “The idea is to help these films find a distributor and a sales company.”

New titles picked up for the screenings include Sivaroj Kongsakul’s mystic Thai film “Eternity,” which follows a man through three stages of “being,” as well as French helmer Franck Guerin’s self-produced Taipei-based drama, “One O One.”

For the second year, Paris Project is teaming up with the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) to host a French/South Korean co-production workshop and is opening the platform to four European projects.

“In Korea, we have one of Asia’s most vibrant film cultures with talented directors who can make critically-acclaimed films,” says KOFIC rep Seo Seung-Hee, pointing to Im Sang-soo, whose “The Housemaid,” which was presented at last year’s Paris Project, unspooled in the Cannes competition this year. “But we can greatly benefit from opening up and allying with other countries which have well-established film industries.”

The French-South Korea co-production treaty was inked in 2006.

Meanwhile, the Paris-based film market showcases 14 projects in development, which were selected from 320 projects, 55 more than last year.

“We keep getting more submissions, but we’re not willing to extend the selection since the idea is to give a special attention to every title,” says Bracq.

The lineup has a strong Asian flavor — comprising more than one-third of the selection — with a balance of auteur films and genre fare.

Highlights include Pablo Fendrik’s Buenos Aires-set thriller “Smoke Men”; “Future Lasts Forever,” directed by Turkish filmmaker Ozcan Alper, whose previous film “Sonbahar” was nommed at the European Film Awards; and Joon Han Yeo’s Malaysian fantasy suspenser “Breathe.” Joon’s short “Adults Only” bowed at Venice in 2006 and won a Special Mention.

Paris Project also is reupping its partnership with Europa Distribution, the European network of indie distribs, to host seminars and workshops.

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