‘Screw’ turns heads in Paris

Geffen's project among standouts at co-pro forum

PARIS — Israeli helmer Shira Geffen’s ”A Screw” was one of the standouts at Paris Project, the co-production forum that wrapped Thursday in Paris.

The film, which tells the tale of two women, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, who swap lives, is the much anticipated followup to Geffen’s debut ”Jellyfish,” which nabbed Cannes Film Festival’s Golden Camera.

The Euros 1.2 million ($1.7 million) pic is produced by David Mandil’s Movieplus Prods. and Keren Michael’s The Mouth Agape Prods.

Michael said she was looking to raise about one-third of the budget in Paris from a combination of a French co-producer, a sales company and international funds.

Other highlights at the three-day event included Denis Cote’s psychological drama ”Vic and Flo Saw a Bear,” Israel Adrian Caetano’s hitwoman thriller ”Evil Woman” and Kadin Ve Erkek’s ”Woman and Man.”

The forum drew 360 industryites — including 140 foreign professionals — and 145 companies from 40 countries, said Thibaut Bracq, head of Paris Project.

”While the overall participation was stable, the number of European distributors climbed from 35 in 2010 to 50 this year,” Bracq said.

Cannes’ Cinefondation exec director George Goldenstern, who was on hand to present the six projects selected for the Cinefondation’s Residence, said Paris Project gave him the opportunity to discover new filmmakers, followup on some projects, and check out new films from Cinefondation alumns, notably Agnes Kocsis, who was pitching ”Eden,” and Ruben Imaz Castro, who was presenting ”Stormmaker” (Tormentero).

Goldenstern said some of these projects will likely be selected for the Atelier in Cannes.

”The selection was very strong, eclectic and well spread out, geographically speaking,” said Goldenstern.

Meanwhile, Thai helmer Kongdej Jaturanrasamee’s off-beat dramedy ”P-047,” and Ivan Wild’s Colombian pic ”Building Royal,” which screened in the Films in Post-Production sidebar, drew offers. Cine Sud Prods.’ founder Thierry Lenouvel said he was in advanced negotiations with ”Building Royal’s” producer, Cristina Gallego from Ciudad Lunar, to co-produce the film. ”I’ve been keeping an eye on this film for some time, and the fact that it was chosen by Paris Project and the first images I’ve seen encouraged me to get involved,” said Lenouvel.

Over at distrib outfit Bodega Films, founder Jean-Pierre Gardelli said he was interested in co-developing three projects, notably Dang Di Phan’s ”Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories,” whose feature debut ”Bi, Don’t Be Afraid” won two prizes at Cannes’ Critics’ Week last year.

Another participant, Clement Duboin, who is heading Urban Distribution Intl.’s production activities, said the forum’s major advantage is that its ”projects specifically target French co-producers whereas other places like Cinemart or FilmLab don’t.”

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