PARIS – Pablo Giorgelli’s “Invisible,” Igor Drljaca’s “Tabija” and Daniel Castro Zimbron’s “The Darkness” (pictured, in concept art) are among 15 projects that will be pitched at the Cannes Festival’s 10th Cinefondation-Atelier, a co-production mart and networking hub for films in development from Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa among principal sources.
Launched in 2005 as part of the Cannes Festival’s Cinefondation training facility, the Atelier will see projects’ directors and producers invited to the Cannes Festival over May 16-22. There, thy will meet with potential co-production partners and sales agents as well as receiving expert one-to-one advice on project development.
Turning on an 18-year-old girl confronting her mother’s death and unwanted pregnancy, “Invisible” is Giorgelli’s awaited follow-up to his debut, the low-key romantic road movie “Las acacias,” which, sold by France’s UDI, won the Argentine director Cannes’ 2011 Camera d’Or.
Portraying the young post-war generation is Bosnia-Herzegovina, “Tabija” won Rotterdam CineMart’s Eurimages Prize plus an Excellence Award at the Sarajevo Festival.
First unveiled in public at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, and backed by a clutch of high-caliber Mexican companies, psychological thriller “The Darkness” turns on a family in an isolated hamlet cabin whorled by perpetual fog and terrorized by a stalking beast.
Pablo Zimbron at Mexico’s Varios Lobos produces; Darkness” is co-produced, among others, by Jorge Michel Grau and Mayra Castro’s Velarium Arts, fast-emerging as one of Mexico’s prime genre pic production hubs.
Also Atelier bound is Mickael Hers’ second film after “Memory Lane,” about passing adolescence, the death-tinged “Ce Sentiment de l’ete.” “A sensorial and impressionist film leading us from darkness to light” in Hers’ own words, it has already received significant industry recognition, pulling down co-production coin from Art France Cinema.
“Saudade” marks Antonio Mendez Esparza’s follow-up to “Aqui y Alla,” a Spain-U.S. co-production – with Torch Films partnering out of the U.S. – which won Cannes Critics’ Week. Like “Aqui y Alla,” it records the emotional collateral of immigration, here via a Spain-set Brazilian mother-son story.
Among other Atelier projects, frozen conflict-zone drama “Territoria,” from Armenia’s Nora Martirosyan, received World Cinema Support coin from France’s CNC film board. Canada’s Guy Edoin will attend to present the French-language “Ville-Marie,” a choral drama whose characters converge on the same Ville-Marie Hospital; Nepalese director Deepak Rauniyar (“Highway”) will move “White Sun,” a Nepalese village-set feel-good family drama, which has won Hubert Bals Fund co-financing.
“It’s an optimistic film which notes the weight of the Nepalese past on the present, but explores new ways in which the Nepalese can work together,” said Cinefondation general manager Georges Goldenstern.
Selection mixes feature debuts– such as “To All Naked Men,” from Syria’s Bassam Chekhes, whose “Waiting for P.O. Box” was the first Syrian short selected to compete at Cannes, and Romanian Bogdan Mirica’s “Dogs,” a Western set in contempo Romania, – with movies from far more seasoned helmers such as Catalan Marc Recha. His father-son identity drama “Ruta salvatje” marks a more open film for the director of “Pau and His Brother,” which played Cannes competition in 2001.
“In the Shade of the Trees,” from Chile’s Matias Rojas (“Raiz”), won June’s Bolivia Lab. A chronicle of true events at a sinister Chilean boarding school run by German settlers, its development included script consultancy from Gonzalo Maza, co-scribe of “Gloria,” Sebastian Lelio’s Berlin Silver Bear winner.
“Trees” rounds up a strong Latin American presence at this year’s Atelier. “I was impressed by the Latin American applications. They are often surprising, exploring new ways of talking about issues,” Goldenstern commented.
Further projects include the Niger Delta-set “Oil on Water,” the fourth feature from Nigerian Newton I. Aduaka (“Rage,” “Ezra”) about two men – one a washed-out journalist, the other his protege – who search for a white woman, Adikhan Yerzhanov’s “Aliyushka,” winner of the 2013 New Kazakh Cinema 2013 Award, and K. Rajagopol’s “A Yellow Bird,” about an ex-con seeking redemption and his daughter set on Singapore’s mean streets. Projects details will be published early April.
Emilio Mayorga contributed to this article
CANNES CINEFONDATION-ATELIER PROJECTS 2014
“Invisible,” Pablo Giorgelli (Argentina)
“Territoria,” Nora Martirosyan (Armenia)
“Tabija,” Igor Drljaca (Bosnia)
“Saudade,” Antonio Mendez Esparza (Brazil)
“Ville-Marie,” Guy Edoin (Canada)
“In the Shade of the Trees,” Matias Rojas Valencia (Chile)
“Ce sentiment de l’ete,” Mikhael Hers (France)
“Aliyushka,” Adilkhan Yerzhanov (Kazakhstan)
“The Darkness,” Daniel Castro Zimbron (Mexico)
“White Sun,” Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal)
“To All Naked Men,” Bassam Chekhes (Netherlands, Syria)
“Oil on Water,” Newton I. Aduaka (Nigeria)
“Dogs,” Bogdan Mirica (Romania)
“A Yellow Bird,” K. Rajagopal (Singapore)
“Ruta salvatge,” Marc Recha (Spain)