International Newswire: Women Directors Set to Shine in Cannes’ Cinefondation

Projects by Yulene Olaizola, Maya Dreifuss and Guetty Felin among those selected

Women Directors Set to Shine in

In today’s International Newswire, Cannes reveals strong femme presence in Cinefondation Atelier; “Black Panther” and “Blade Runner 2049” in spotlight at VFX event FMX; Banijay launches production company in Germany; and Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival ups Mickaël Marin.

This year’s Cannes Film Festival has announced its first section, the Cinefondation Atelier, an international co-production forum, and some of its highest-profile directors, though still a minority, are women.

Mexico’s Yulene Olaizola (“Fogo”) directs a 1920s-set suspense thriller, “Tragic Jungle,” which employs Mayan myth. Maya Dreifuss, Jerusalem fest’s first-feature winner with “She Is Coming Home,” delivers “Highway 65,” a feminist procedural centering on a female cop who investigates a beauty queen’s disappearance. “A Rooster on the Fire Escape,” San Francisco-based Guetty Felin’s second movie after “Ayiti Mon Amour,” is a tale of an immigrant Haitian family in the U.S.

Other projects also place woman center stage, such as “The Last Queen,” the debut feature of French-Algerian Damien Ounouri, whose short “Kindil” played in Directors’ Fortnight. It is inspired by the legend of the corsair Barbarossa who attacked King Salim at-Toumi’s Algiers in 1516, swearing to seize his palace and his queen, but she has other ideas.

The selection also includes Iceland’s San Sebastian winner Runar Runarsson (“Sparrows”), who is selected with “Echo,” a drama looking at contemporary Icelandic society, and South Africa’s Sibs Shongwe-La Mer (“The Sound of Animals Fighting”), who will present “The Color of the Skull,” an apocalyptic South Africa-set drama.

The visual effects on box-office smash hit “Black Panther” and Oscar-nominated “Blade Runner 2049” will be the focus of case studies at FMX, an event dedicated to the VFX, animation, video games and immersive media sectors.

A presentation on “Black Panther” will be given by Marvel Studios’ Geoffrey Baumann and Jesse James Chisholm, ScanlineVFX’s Bryan Grill and Stephan Trojansky, RISE Visual Effects Studios’ Jonathan Weber and Trixter Film’s Michael Wortmann.

The discussion on “Blade Runner 2049” will be led by Double Negative’s Paul Lambert, Framestore’s Luigi Santoro and MPC’s Axel Akesson.

In another presentation, Framestore’s animation director Pablo Grillo will share insights into the creative decisions and tools behind the studio’s VFX work on “Paddington 2.”

FMX runs April 24-27 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

Stephane Courbit’s 10-year-old Banijay Group, in which Vivendi owns a minority stake, has launched Banijay Productions Germany, a Cologne-based production company to be headed by Endemol Shine-owned Florida TV founder Arno Schneppenheim.

Marco Bassetti, CEO of Banijay Group, said: “Germany is one of the largest and most diverse broadcast markets in the world with a strong growth in pay and OTT services. At Banijay Group we intend to capitalize on the many opportunities this flourishing territory can offer.”

Arno Schneppenheim began his career as a writer for RTL’s “Samstag Nacht” and “7 Tage, 7 Köpfe,” and then worked for Brainpool, and as a producer on ProSieben’s “Elton.TV” and “Rent a Pocher.” He joined Endemol Shine in 2009 as head of comedy and light entertainment. In 2012, he also became managing director of Florida TV, a joint venture between Joko Winterscheidt, Klaas Heufer-Umlauf and Endemol Shine.

The setting up of Banijay Productions Germany is just the latest in a recent surge of activity from Banijay, which last month acquired French digital company Shauna Events; launched Neon Ink, a U.K. drama label; and acquired British factual prodco 7 Wonder.

Banijay is among the world’s largest independent TV and multimedia content creation groups, with production companies in 17 territories.

In recognition of the remarkable success of France’s Annecy Intl. Animation Film Festival, one of Europe’s fastest-growing events over the last decade, Mickaël Marin has been appointed director of Citia, the Annecy-based organization that manages the festival. Marin will replace Patrick Eveno from July.

Marin is already well-known to thousands of animation execs as the head of Annecy’s Mifa market, which he joined in 2002. Between them, Eveno and Marin built on the extraordinary expansion of animation in international markets to turn Annecy into a major industry event/animation community reunion, favored by both Hollywood majors for blockbuster world premieres and key independents the world over, without the lakeside event losing its quaint charm. That growth, now headed by Marin, is most probably not yet over.

Mickal Marin