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San Sebastián: France’s Wide Takes Gilles Coulier’s ‘Cargo’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Belgian Gilles Coulier competes at San Sebastian’s New Directors’ showcase

BARCELONA — Paris-based sales-production house Wide has acquired international sales rights outside Benelux to Gilles Coulier’s family drama “Cargo” which plays September’s San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival,  competing in its New Directors sidebar.

The first feature from Coulier – a director of limited TV series “The Natives” whose short,  “Mont Blanc,” competed at Cannes – “Cargo” will also open Belgium’s Ostende Film Festival on Sept. 8.

Produced by Belgium’s De Wereldvrede in co-production with Holland’s Halal Pictures, France’s Chevaldeuxtrois and Belgian public TV station EEN, with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), “Cargo”s’ screenplay was penned by Coulier and Tom Dupont who co-wrote Peter Monsaert’s “Offline,” a 2016 New Directors contender at San Sebastian.

“Cargo” turns on Jean, the eldest son of a North Sea fisherma, who  suffering a severe accident – leaving Jean to take charge of the loss-making family fishing business, which brings him into bitter conflict with his brothers.

“Growing up in a family of three sons inspired me seven years ago to write a film about the lack of communication between brothers and between father and sons in a dislocated family with no women,” Coulier said Variety.

He added: “Setting this personal story in the tough world of fishermen seemed the only right choice to validate the desperate measures this family has to take to save their business and the idea of a family.”

“Cargo’s” cast includes Sam Louwyck, Will Willaert, Sebastien Dewaele, Roland Van Campenhout and Chiel Vande Vyvere.

Other pics announced so far at the San Sebastian New Directors section include Wang Feife’s “From Where We’ve Fallen,” Daniel Palacio’s “Underground” and Marine Francen’s “The Sower.” Three more New Directors films will be unveiled shortly. Part of San Sebastian’s Zabaltegi section, New Directors was spun-off five years ago into its own standalone section, now arguably the Festival’s biggest sidebar.

One of San Sebastian’s most active players. Loic Magneron’s Wide has seen multiple sales slate titles make the New Directores’ cut dedicated to first and second features: Among them are Kristina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov’s 2015 San Sebastian Kutxa Best New Director winner  “The Lesson,” Vallo Toomla’s “Pretenders,” Ignas Jonynas’ “The Gambler” and Hans Christian Berger’s “After Eden.”

“Cargo” will be released in Belgium on Sept. 13 and in the Netherlands on Sept. 28, via Dutch Filmworks. The 65th San Sebastian Intl. Festival runs Sept. 22-30.

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