Sold by Wild Bunch and produced by Paris-based Why Not Productions, “Ismael’s Ghosts” marks Desplechin’s follow-up to “My Golden Days,” which was also picked up by Magnolia. “My Golden Days” world-premiered last year at Cannes’ Directors Fortnight and won the SACD prize along with a flurry of other prizes, including six Cesars, France’s equivalent to the Oscars.
Currently in pre-production, “Ismael’s Ghosts” tells the tale of a widowed film director who is in the middle of making a film about an atypical diplomat inspired by his brother. While he has started a new life with Sylvia, he still mourns the death of a former lover, Carlotta, who passed away 20 years earlier; then Carlotta returns from the dead, causing Sylvia to run away.
Desplechin penned the script with Julie Peyr, who co-wrote Desplechin’s last two films — “My Golden Days” and “Jimmy P.” — and Lea Mysius, whose short “L’ile Jaune” won the Grand Jury prize at Angers fest.
Desplechin served on George Miller’s jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
One of France’s most popular auteurs, Desplechin has directed five films that have had their world premieres in competition at Cannes: “Jimmy P.,” “A Christmas Tale,” “Esther Kahn,” “My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument” and “The Sentinel.”