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

  • Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Honored

    Thierry Frémaux, José Luis Rebordinos Named Honorary Argentine Academy Members

    BUENOS AIRES — In a ceremony just before Friday’s prize announcements at Ventana Sur, Cannes chief Thierry Frémaux and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian Festival, were named honorary members of Argentina’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a new move for the Academy, out through by its new president, Bernardo [...]

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content