×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

IFFAM: Mattie Do, Annick Mahnert Continue Journey With ‘Long Walk’

Laos director Mattie Do and Swiss producer Annick Mahnert are working together on “The Long Walk,” a project that was at the first edition of the IFFAM Project market in 2016 and is showing as a work in progress at the Macao Industry Hub.

The pair previously teamed up on “Dearest Sister.” The film was the movie was the first to be submitted by Laos for the Oscars foreign language category.

“After my first two films, I didn’t want to do another movie about Lao women trapped in their Vientiane houses, so I started out with this idea about an old man walking up and down the same stretch of dirt road outside his village and his only company was the ghost of a girl that died on the road when he was a boy,” Do told Variety. “At the time, my husband and I were starting to notice that our whippet, Mango (who starred in my first film!) was beginning to get really old. He was blind and deaf and half-senile and he’d had a bout of vesticular disease that had left him really wobbly. So we were coming to terms with the end of his life and trying to talk through the idea of having him put to sleep. I guess that all probably sounds a bit all over the place, but this film sort of evolved out of those conversations about our little old dog.”

Despite the global recognition for “Dearest Sister,” the team found it difficult to raise funds for “The Long Walk.” Several European state funding agencies passing on it.

“After the refusals we started looking for private funding and very quickly Justin Deimen from Aurora Media Holdings (whom I had met in Singapore during the market and who had been following “Dearest Sister’s” festival run) showed interest in co-financing the film,” says Mahnert. “They genuinely believed in what we were trying to do, and we very quickly agreed to coproduce together. We also received production funding from the Visions Sud Est fund in Switzerland, which helped us close the financial plan.”

“From equipment dying in the heat and humidity to having no resources, to getting the crew to make it through the wild jungle terrain of Laos, I’d say it’s been a pretty wild ride, but grit and determination, all of our producers’ committed support, plus a bit of luck here and there, really got us through it,” says Do.

“The Long Walk” is a coproduction between Lao Art Media in Laos, Screen Division in Spain, and Aurora Media Holdings. The team’s goal in Macau is to meet festival programmers, sales agents and investors, and pitch Do’s pipeline of upcoming projects.

Do’s slate includes: an immigration-themed thriller set between France and Laos; a ballet-genre concept that could be a series or a film; and an artistic body horror set in Europe.

Mahnert is equally busy. She coproduced the documentary “Memory: The Origins of Alien,” directed by Alexander O. Philippe, that will premiere at Sundance in January. “Guachicolero,” the first feature from Mexico’s Edgar Nito, is in post-production. In addition, Mahnert is executive producing another documentary, “Cryptozoologist” by Brad Abrahams.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

  • LargoAI

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

  • MARIANA-RONDÓN-MARITÉ-UGÁS

    FiGa Snags 'Contactado,' By The Team Behind San Sebastian Winner 'Pelo Malo' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Sandro Fiorin’s FiGa Films has picked up worldwide sales rights to “Contactado,” the upcoming feature by Sudaca Films’ Marité Ugás and Mariana Rondón, the duo behind San Sebastian 2013 Golden Shell winner, “Pelo Malo.” The Sudaca partners are attending San Sebastian to pitch Rondón-helmed project “Zafari” at the 8th Europe-Latin American Co-production Forum. Directed by [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' Lifts Above Competition at International Box Office With $26 Million

    Though “Ad Astra” was overthrown by the Crawley family at the domestic box office, Brad Pitt’s astronaut drama reigned supreme at the international box office. Directed by James Gray, “Ad Astra” launched overseas with $26 million from 44 foreign markets. The $80 million sci-fi epic debuted in North America with $19.2 million, bringing global box [...]

  • hugh jackman tiff bad education

    Toronto's Biggest Deal Goes to HBO: A Sign of the Future? (Column)

    When it comes to how we’ll be watching movies — or, at least, watching serious dramas for adults — in the future, here are two stark and timely contradictory facts: 1. Last week, as the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close, a deal that had been in the rumor stage for a while [...]

  • 'Talking About Trees' Helmer Suhaib Gasmelbari

    'Talking About Trees' Director Suhaib Gasmelbari Receives Variety MENA Award

    Suhaib Gasmelbari, whose Sudanese documentary “Talking About Trees” premiered in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, received the Variety Middle East and North Africa Region Talent Award Saturday at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt from festival director Intishal Al Timimi. Variety critic Jay Weissberg, who selected the honoree, said that it is not usual that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content