Unifrance huddle boasts eclectic, high-profile lineup of glamourous stars and popular films
Isabelle Huppert starrer “Paris Follies,” Fabrice du Welz’s noirish cop actioner “Colt 45” and “The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles,” an adaptation of Katherine Pancol’s runaway French bestseller, figure among 52 market premieres at 2014’s Unifrance Paris Rendez-vous.
Its higher-profile titles decidedly eclectic, the Rendez-vous lineup also features star vehicles: Heist caper “The Last Diamond” toplines Berenice Bejo; Pierre Salvadori’s “In the Courtyard” stars Catherine Deneuve; and two films feature Charlotte Gainsbourg: reincarnation thriller “His Wife” and Riad Sattouf’s femme-ruled dystopia satire “Jacky in the Kingdom of Women.”
Other noteworthy pics include post split-up drama “Gazelles” from Mona Achache (“Hedgehog”); love story “Une Rencontre” (Quantum Love), which Pathe Intl. picked up for world sales outside France, Belgium and Switzerland, from Lisa Azuelos (“LOL”); Helier Cisterne’s debut pic, teen drama “Vandal,” a Gallic critical hit; and a purported swan song: Jacques-Remy Girerd’s “Aunt Hilda!” from Folimage, Oscar-nommed for “A Cat in Paris.”
There is also work from name directors: The confab will screen Lucas Belvaux’s romance “Not My Type,” and Paolo Virzi’s Italian dynasty drama “Human Capital.”
As with 2008’s “Welcome to the Sticks” and 2010’s “Heartbreaker,” comedies may provide this year’s breakout: At least 24 bow at the Rendez-vous market this year. The laffer list includes Albert Dupontel’s “9-Month Stretch,” which hit a boffo 12.4 million Euros ($16.9 million) in France, while two are farces partly set in Africa: “The Crocodiles of Botswanga” and “Scouting for Zebras,” with Benoit Poelvoorde.
Many of the comedies turn on romantic travails, including Catherine Castel’s “Honey Trap,” with Audrey Fleurot (“Spiral”), and EuropaCorp’s “I Did It Again,” with Alexandra Lamy (“Ricky”). Another debut, Benjamin Guedj’s “Quarter-Life Crisis,” is a contempo slacker comedy.
With French comedy a near-international brand, some will sell. The question is which, and for how much.