PARIS– Gyorgy Palfi (“Free Fall”), Tom Shoval (“Youth”), Renaud Barret (“Benda Bilili”) are among the critically-acclaimed filmmakers whose latest projects will be pitched at Les Arcs European Film Festival’s Coproduction Village.
Nestled in the French Alps, Les Arcs’ Coproduction Village will welcome about 350 participants and showcase 26 projects, mixing elevated genre, mainstream animation and festival-driven pics.
Palfi’s “The Voice” follows a thirty-something Hungarian journalist who sets off to find his father, who disappeared in the 70’s after being involved in a secret military research project for the U.S. government. Palfi’s last movie, “Free Fall,” won three awards (best director, special jury prize and label Europe Cinemas prizes) at Karlovy Vary.
Shoval is developing “Shake Your Cares Away,” which turns on a young Israeli woman leading a double life. It’s produced by One Two Films. Shoval’s last pic “Youth” won best film at Jerusalem fest and earned a nomination at the British Film Institute Awards and Tokyo, among other fests.
Barret, meanwhile, will attend les Arcs with “System K,” a documentary about Freddy Tsimba, a contemporary artist who fights military tensions to organize a “Free Arts Biennial Exhibition” in the streets of Kinshasa with the help of fellow artists from the guettos. The docu feature is produced by Flickshift. Barret’s “Benda Bilili” opened at Directors’ Fortnight.
Sophie Fiennes’ “Grace Jones – The Musical of My Life” is another documentary project set for Les Arcs. The doc, produced by Ireland’s Blinder Films and the U.K.’s Amoeba Films. Fiennes’ “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology” opened at Toronto
Icelandic helmer Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurosson, who last directed “Paris of the North” which world premiered at Karlovy Vary, will have his upcoming project “The Tree” pitched at Les Arcs. Produced by Zik Zak Filmworks, the dramedy centers around a marriage breakdown.
Genre projects include Johnny Kevorkian’s “Hidden Folk,” Pascal Sid’s “The Island of the Dolls” and Aku Louhimies’ “Cycle.”
Named Finnish director of the year in 2004, Louhimies earned multiple Jussi awards (Finland’s top film kudos) for his latest movie “8-Ball.” “Cycle,” about a Greek architect who sets off to uncover the truth behind the tragic death of his family, is produced by Samson Films.
“Dolls,” a horror film turning on a group of Gypsy men trapped on a haunted island. Produced by Daigoro Films, “Dolls” marks Sid’s follow up to “Behind the Walls,” a S3D suspenser with Laetitia Casta.
Another horror movie project, “Hidden Folk” tells the story of a teenage girl from Detroit who moves with her abusive father to a remote Norwegian Farmhouse haunted by fairy tales’ creatures. It’s produced by Pinball Films.
One of the two toonpics pitched at Les Arcs, Arthur de Pins’ “Zombillenium” is based on the eponymous comic book which takes place at an amusement terror park.
As every year, the mini-market will present a large number of French projects. Among the promising Gallic projects: Manuel Schapira’s “Felix and Vincent,” a coming-of-age drama about the friendship between a manager and a struggling musician, and Gael Morel’s “Spring Again,” about a middle-aged factory worker who accepts to relocate to Morocco. Morel’s “Apres lui” premiered at Directors’ Fortnight in 2006.
Produced by Manufactura, “Felix and Vincent” will topline two of France’s rising stars, Vincent Lacoste (“Eden”) and Felix Moati (“Hippocrate”).
Other notable projects include Iram Haq’s sophomore outing “What Will People Say,” an autobiographical tale turning on the tormented adolescence of a Norwegian Pakistani girl, and Italian helmer’s Ivano de Matteo’s “My Mother And I,” about a woman who flees her abusive husband in Rome and moves to Paris with her 13-year-old son.
De Matteo’s last film “Our Children” won Venice’s Europa Cinemas Label and played at Annecy, Pusan and London.
Haq’s debut feature, “I Am Yours,” world premiered at Toronto and played at Les Arcs. It also repped Norway in the foreign-language race.
Meanwhile, Les Arcs will also be hosting a work-in-progess session where 10 films in post-production will be presented. Selected by Frederic Boyer, the artistic director of Les Arcs and Tribeca festivals, the lineup includes Runar Runarsson’s (“Volcano”) “Sparrows” – pitched last year at Les Arcs’ Coproduction Village –, Simon Fitzmaurice (“The Sound of People”)’s “My Name is Emily,” Anca Damian’s (“Crulic”) “Magic Mountain” and Belgian star choreographer-turned-helmer Wim Vandekeybus’ “Galloping Mind.”
For the second time, Les Arcs will organize a Low Budget Film Forum in collaboration with the London Film School to complement the Film School Village. Eight projects which mark the first professional features from film school grads will be pitched.
Les Arcs’ Coproduction Village will take place Dec. 13-16.