You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Karlovy Vary: Eaux Vives, Martin, Ivanov Prep ‘At Dawn’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Paris-based ‘Babai’ co-producer readies slate rich in film odysseys

At Karlovy Vary for competition entry “Babai,” which it co-produces, Paris-based Eaux Vives Production will reteam with Philip Martin for “At Dawn” (“Des L’Aube”), which is set to star Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov, who scored a L.A. Film Critics Assn. Award playing abortionist Mr. Bebe in Cristian Mungiu’s 2007 Cannes Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.”

Eaux Vives produced Martin’s first feature, “Hungry Man,” a Karlovy Vary 2013 world premiere.

Like many Eaux Vives’ productions or projects – “Babai,” set between Kosovo and Germany; “Mister,” whose action unspools in Paris, then Norway – “At Dawn” forms part of one of Europe’s modern movie traditions, often to the fore at Karlovy Vary: arthouse films that leverage international co-production to tell human stories, often about Europe’s young embarked on a journey to find their emotional place in the world.

In “At Dawn,” and other titles, that journey is literal, and based on social experiments currently carried out by reinsertion associations in France and Belgium, said Eaux Vives Xenia Maingot. Two French teen girls, both facing prison, are offered an alternative: completing a 2,500 kilometer walk – a huge challenge even for the fit — in Romania.

Ivanov plays Ari, a seasoned walker and former political activist – the details are left deliberately vague — who acts as the girls’ tutor-guide.

“We want to make the film very, very much because we believe prison is no solution for young offenders,” said Maingot, who founded Eaux Vives in 2008, and heads it with Jean-François Deveau.

Martin aims to approximate “At Dawn” — a road movie on foot,” as he calls it — near to myth: “Three common heroes walk stage after stage a path to freedom, surpassing the limits of their own strength.” The film’s heart, he added, is the characters’ “transformation.”

Mainhot said Eaux Vives is in co-production discussions for “At Dawn,” with Ada Solomon at Romania’s HiFilm Productions, producer of Augustina Standu and Radu Jude’s “The Happiest Girl in the World,” and with Joseph Roucshop at Belgium’s “Tarantula,” the company behind “The Wakhan Front,” winner of this year’s Cannes Critics’ Week Gan Foundation Support for Distribution Award.

In “Babai,” the journey is made by a 10-year-old. Set in the 1990s in pre-war Kosovo, it turns on Nori, who has no mother and is abandoned, he thinks, by his father, who suddenly leaves for Germany. Nori steals some money, follows him, finally finds his father and confronts him about his leaving.

Produced by Nicole Gerhards at Germany’s NiKo Film, Kosovo’s Produksioni Krushna, Macedonia’s Skopje Film Studio and Eaux Vives, “Babai” marks the feature debut of Kosovar Visar Morina, who won best film at Karlovy Vary’s Fresh Film Fest for medium-feature “Death by Suffocation.” Just acquired for international sales by Greece’s Heretic Outreach, “Babai” is “really emotional, very well directed and very sensitive,” Maingot said.

In “Mister,” from French-born but Berlin-based Emily Atef, which is set up at Eaux Vives and NiKo Film, a young Parisien, Helene, diagnosed with cancer, decides to travel to a Norwegian town with Mister, a guy she met on the Internet. Atef is currently writing with Lars Hubrich.

Another Eaux Vives’ production, Jordanian first-timer Rifqi Assaf’s minibus road movie “The Curve,” is co-produced with Rula Nassar’s the Imaginarium Films and Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic, two of the movers and shakers in Arab world cinema.

A highlight at the Dubai Film Market Goes to Cannes, it centers on Radi, who suffers from serious agoraphobia. But he is forced out of his seclusion when obliged to drive Laila, the victim of a rape attempt, to the Syrian border in his minibus.

Rolling August, another Eaux Vives’ production, Brazilian Willy Biondani’s “Tudo bom, tudo bem,” is a magic realism-tinged culture clash comedy. Brazil’s BossaNovaFilms lead produces the story of a refined Paris-based Brazilian journalist, who travels to a Brazilian backwater to debunk the idea of the happy noble savage. He finds a welcoming world of the senses instead.

Eeaux Vives’ notable number of road/place in the world movies, and often young or still not totally formed protagonists, is no coincidence, Maingot said.

“I have a passion for human stories, for languages and travel. I really believe that journeys brings the best possibility to meet, understand, share with others,” she commented.

“Thanks to the movement, and different encounters, little by little people have the possibility to change deeply. I like to defend ideas in cinema concerning people who have real struggles in front of them. I also believe in young generations. They question themselves all the time.”

More Film

  • Nicolas Cage

    Film News Roundup: Nicolas Cage's 'Jiu Jitsu' Obtains Cyprus Support

    In today’s film news roundup, Cyprus is backing Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu”; “The Nanny” and “Amityville 1974” are moving forward; “Milk” is returning to theaters; and Garrett Hedlund’s “Burden” is getting distribution. CYPRUS REBATE Nicolas Cage’s “Jiu Jitsu” has become the first international film to use Cyprus’ new tax credit-rebate program by filming entirely in [...]

  • Zhao Tao

    Zhao Tao Gets Candid in Kering's Shanghai Women in Motion Showcase Interview

    Zhao Tao is one of the most recognizable faces in Chinese art cinema thanks to her longtime collaboration with director Jia Zhangke, whom she married in 2012. From 2000’s “Platform” to last year’s “Ash is Purest White,” her work has plumbed the moral depths of modern China and brought stories of the country’s drastic change [...]

  • Skyline on the Huangpu River with

    Chinese-American Film Festival Seeks Particular Dialog

    With U.S.-China ties at an ever-sinking low, the Chinese-American Film and TV Festival on Tuesday pledged to improve communications between the two countries —  at a Chinese language-only press conference Tuesday that had few foreigners present. Most attendees who took to the stage to give congratulatory speeches that seemed more intent on heaping praise upon [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Jermaine Fowler arrives at the 69th

    Jermaine Fowler to Co-Star With Eddie Murphy in 'Coming 2 America' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jermaine Fowler is set to play one of the leads opposite Eddie Murphy in Paramount’s sequel “Coming 2 America,” sources tell Variety. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is on board to direct the pic with the studio planning an August 7, 2020 release. Plot details of “Coming 2 America” are unknown, as are the [...]

  • Henry Golding attends the Fragrance Foundation

    Henry Golding Starts Long House Shingle With 'Inheritance,' 'Harrington's Greatest Hits'

    “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding has started Long House Productions in partnership with China’s Starlight Cultural Entertainment Group with two features in the works. Golding’s first feature under the Long House banner is action adventure “The Inheritance,” based on an original story idea by Alistair Hudson and Golding. Hudson is writing the script for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content