VENICE – Paris-based Cite Films, ex-Roissy head Raphael Berdugo’s production sales house, is teaming with France’s Virginie Films, owned by Virginie Lacombe, to produce “l’Alcool transparent des cerises” (Afloat), Lorraine Levy’s romantic suspenser follow-up to fest and sales hit “The Other Son.”
Cite has also boarded Argentine Emiliano Torres’ “The Winter,” an Argentina (Wanka Cine-Sinema), Mexico (Canibal) and France (Cite) co-production.
Adding a touch of exoticism, “Afloat” will shoot in Cambodia and Vietnam. It stars two fixtures of French-language cinema, Nathalie Baye (“Catch Me If You Can”) and Benoit Poelvoord (“Cocio BeforeChanel”), as two tourists on a Mekong cruise ship whose spouses slip away together. For the abandoned partners, another kind of journey begins.
Adapting Catherine Guillebaud’s novel “Exercice d’abandon,” “Afloat” shoots Feb/March 2015. Cite is negotiating to use Rithy Panh’s Bophana Center for production services,
Produced by Cite and Virginie Films, and a Cohen Media U.S. pick-up, 2012’s “The Other Son” was the story of a baby switch between an Israeli and Palestinian family. It sold to France, Germany, Spain, Japan, China and Australia of major territories and won the Tokyo Fest’s Asakura Grand Prize and best director.
“A stylish, modern Western” set in southern Patagonia, said Berdugo, “Winter” stars Argentina’s Cristian Salguero and Chile’s Hector Nolguera. It centers on a young man brought in to replace an ageing foreman on a huge estate in the wilds of Patagonia. Winter brews, as his predecessor determines to force him to leave.
“There is a third protagonist: Landscape and nature. It’s incredibly beautiful and in winter incredibly tough,” Berdugo said.
Director Torres was first a.d. on Emanuele Crialese’s “Golden Door”, which won a Revelation Silver Lion at the 2006 Venice Film Festival. As a project, “Winter” took a top LCI Seguros award at Mexico’s Guadalajara Co-production Meeting in March.
“As an international sales company, Cite Films just sells the films it produces or co-produces,” Berdugo said.
“I noted that the films I sold the best were my own co-productions: ‘Caramel,’ ‘Miele.’ The best way to make a good sale is to share your passion for a movie where you’ve invested your time and money.”
Produced and sold by Cite, Valerio Golino’s acclaimed director debut “Miele” was released in the U.S by Emerging Pictures. Kino Lorber picked up Pan Nalin’s “Faith Connections.” Cite also produced Critics’ Week Nespresso Grand Prix winner “Salvo.”
Cite’s latest co-production, Pan Nalin’s docu feature “Faith Connections,” world preemed last year at Toronto, going on to win the Audience Award at Los Angeles’ Indian Film Festival. It has sold to the U.S. and Canada, France, Germany-Austria, Australia-New Zealand , Benelux, and Switzerland .
Cite is also assisting Argos Films with international film sales on its prestigious arthouse film collection. This features classic titles from world-renown filmmakers such as Robert Bresson (“Mouchette,” Jean-Luc Godard (“Masculin Feminin”), Chris Marker (“La Jetee”), Nagisa Oshima (“In the Realm of the Senses”), Alain Resnais (“Hiroshima Mon Amour”), Volker Schlondorff (“The Tin Drum”) and Wim Wenders (“Wings of Desire”).