Ozon double bill offered at Cannes

Director's '8 Women' was int'l success

PARIS — Helmer Francois Ozon will be a major presence at Cannes this year, with his “Swimming Pool” in competition at the festival and a new pic, “5×2,” expected to be one of the hottest Gallic properties at the mart.

Ozon already has shot more than half of “5×2,” which homes in on five crucial moments in the life of a married couple, told in reverse.

In contrast with his international hit “8 Women,” which starred a galaxy of French luminaries led by Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert and Emmanuelle Beart, Ozon has not opted for big-name actors this time.

The film stars Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Stephane Freiss and Francoise Fabian.

After shooting the Charlotte Rampling/Ludivine Sagnier starrer “Swimming Pool” in English, Ozon has reverted to French for “5×2,” whose budget has not been disclosed.

As with all of Ozon’s previous films, Marc Missonnier and Olivier Delbosc of Fidelite Prods. are producing, with arthouse specialist Celluloid Dreams handling international sales.

Celluloid president Hengameh Panahi described the new pic as Ozon’s “most emotional film.”

“He is trying to get as close as possible to what a couple is. Love stories never stand the test of time, so by telling it in reverse, there’s a happy ending,” Panahi said.

Several territories were sold at Unifrance’s Paris Rendezvous of French Cinema earlier this year without distributors having seen a script, Panahi added.

In addition to “Swimming Pool,” Celluloid has nine films in the official selection, including three in competition, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s “Bright Future,” Alexander Sokurov’s “Father and Son” and Bertrand Bonello’s “Tiresia.”

Celluloid has two out-of-competition films, Sylvain Chomet’s animated feature “Belleville Rendezvous” and screenwriter Gilles Marchand’s helming debut “Who Killed Bambi?,” plus four in Un Certain Regard: “Robinson’s Crusoe” by Lin Cheng-sheng, “Crimson Gold” by Jafar Panahi, “Kiss of Life” by Cinefondation discovery Emily Young and Yu Lik Wai’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties.”

The sales company also has Julie Bertuccelli’s “Since Otar Left” in Critics Week and Bent Hamer’s “Kitchen Stories” in Directors Fortnight.

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