Best of Europe, Works-in-Progress Showcased at Les Arcs Film Festival

Following six successful editions and the discovery of a few gems such as Alice Rohrwacher’s Cannes-winning “The Wonders,” Les Arcs European Film Festival has established itself as a key European market that isn’t just popular for its French Alps ski runs.

The official program sports the best of Euro cinema, including “1001 Grams” from Bent Hamer and Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy.”

The fest’s Arc 1950 Co-production Village will showcase 10 works-in-progress, as well as 26 projects, many of which are from seasoned European arthouse helmers including Gyorgy Palfi, Sophie Fiennes, Tom Shoval, Renaud Barret, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurosson and Ivano De Matteo.

The selection, spearheaded by Vanja Kaludjercic, also features genre titles, such as Johnny Kevorkian’s “Hidden Folk” and Pascal Sid’s “The Island of the Dolls,” and is opening up to animation, with “Zombillenium,” Arthur de Pins’ edgy comicbook-based toon that takes place at an amusement park, nabbing a works in progress slot.

“Upscale genre movies continue to be hot sellers, and more than ever we’re (selecting) projects that have a crossover appeal and are backed by solid directors and/or producers,” Kaludjercic says.

Under the leadership of co-founder Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin, Les Arcs also aims to mature into a mix of Sundance-meets-SXSW.

The fest is launching a music village with three concert days, DJ sets and showcases in igloos, bars and hotels throughout Les Arcs.

“Through the music village we want to create more bridges between the worlds of film and music by organizing meetings between producers, music supervisors, composers and labels,” Fleurantin says.

The work-in-progress selection, put together by the festival’s artistic director Frederic Boyer, is looking particularly robust this year with Simon Fitzmaurice’s “My Name Is Emily,” Anca Damian’s “Magic Mountain,” Adrian Sitaru’s “It’s Time” and “Sparrows” from Runar Runarsson, produced by helmer-producer Mikkel Jersin, who attended Les Arcs’ pitching session last year with the project.

Les Arcs’ professional sidebar is also getting more competitive with the launch of the Arte prize, a €4,000 ($4,900) grant given by the Franco-German TV net for best project. The fest will also award the LVT Digimage prize worth $7,400 in services for the best work-in-progress pitch.

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