LOCARNO, Switzerland — The third edition of the Locarno Industry Days’ Alliance for Development initiative, which aims to help develop and co-produce projects from France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland by facilitating cooperation between the existing co-development funds in these countries, wrapped on a positive note Sunday after two days of curated meetings, panels and networking events.
Participating co-development funds link France’s famed CNC, Italy’s MiBACT, and Germany’s FFA. Nine projects were chosen among those that tap into this coin with Switzerland seen as their natural co-producing partner.
“We give the chosen projects an opportunity to match-up with the professionals attending the Locarno Industry Days, highlighting the best assets of each country involved, and aiming to create a solid market-oriented model,” said Nadia Dresti, Locarno’s Deputy Artistic Director and Head of International.
Alliance for Development goes beyond being a mere co-production platform since it allows for time to evaluate projects in the development phase and comprises events and opportunities for producers to meet with regional film commissions and funds, and to really delve into the markets of these neighbouring territories. It is also open to producers from other countries where French, German, and Italian are spoken.
Case in point is standout project “My Kin,” an ISIS-themed thriller which Belgian producer Hubert Toint (“Darwin’s Nightmare”) is now in advanced negotiations to board alongside Italy’s Pilar Saavedra, who is the main producer via her Moliwood shingle, and Antoine de Clermont Tonnere MACT productions in France.
In “My Kin” a French man of Arabic descent infiltrates ISIS seeking revenge for his parents’ murder. His father was a Arab/French policeman. “To tackle a theme like ISIS, which is so current and still developing, naturalism is a limitation,” said Italian director Gigi Roccati. “So there will be a magical realism aspect.” Roccati’s first feature “Babylon Sisters” screened recently at the London Indian Film Festival.
Selected projects in 2017:
- “Chroma,” a drama about a love affair between two misfits called Claire and Alain. To be directed by Jean-Laurent Chautems, produced by Xavier Grin (P.S. Productions) – MEDIA Desk Suisse
- “Comic Book Souls,” a love letter to comic book superheroes in which an imaginary one becomes the real driving force in a young man’s life, written by Roberto Gagnor, produced by Torsten Götz (Letterbox Filmproduktion GmbH) – FFA / MiBAC
- “The Power of Silence,” the first feature doc about French mime Marcel Marceau. To be directed by Maurizius Staerkle Drux, produced by Aline Schmid (Beauvoir Films) – MEDIA Desk Suisse
- “Durendal,” a transmedia project which creates an interaction between Israel’s 1967 Six-Day War and Nazi general Erwin Rommel’s North Africa Campaign in the same area 25 years earlier. To be directed by Egidio Eronico, produced by Andrea Stucovitz (Partner Media Investment) – MiBACT / FFA
- “Guitar Solo,” a drama about a man in his 40s torn between his family life and an opportunity to revive his career as a musician. To be directed by Micha Lewinsky, produced by HC Vogel and Jessica Sonderegger (Plan B Film GmbH) – MEDIA Desk Suisse
- “In absentia,” a drama in which an 18-year-old boy’s father dies, leading to discoveries he makes about the man. To be directed by Matteo Bernardini, produced by Daniele Segre and Daniele de Cicco (Redibis Film) – MiBACT / CNC
- “The Stray Cat,” a multi-narrative pic set on the Sicilian island of Stromboli exploring themes of isolation and integration. Written by Lissi Muschol and Merle Vierck, produced by Lissi Muschol (Kabinett Filmproduktion) – FFA / MiBACT
- “The Divine Madman,” a genre-bender about a man on the run accused of a murder he did not commit who intersects with a young and unpredictable woman. To be directed by Nicola Sornaga, produced by Thomas Ordonneau (Shellac Production) – CNC / MiBACT
- “Linda Wants Chicken,” an animated feature film for children in which the narrative is triggered by a mother who promises her daughter she will cook her some chicken with peppers. To be directed by Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach, produced by Marc Irmer (Dolce Vita Films) – CNC / MiBACT
- “L’Amour,” a docu-fiction involving Romeo and Juliet and youths in a Paris banlieu. To be directed by Emma Rosa Simon, produced by Eva Kemme (Basis Berlin Filmproduktion) – FFA / CNC
- “My Kin,” a non-naturalistic thriller in which a French man of Arabic descent infiltrates ISIS seeking revenge for his parents’ murder. To be directed by Gigi Roccati, produced by Pilar Saavedra (Moliwood Films Srl) – MiBACT / CNC
- “Moon,” a father-and-son drama with science fiction elements set in Germany. To be directed by Karim Aïnouz, produced by Marie-Pierre Macia and Claire Gadéa (MPM Film) – CNC / FFA