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Rising Female French Producers Make Their Mark

Rosa Attab
Producer, Why Not Productions

Although she likes to keep a low profile, Attab is a key producer at Parisian outfit Why Not Prods., where she works with top filmmakers such as Cristian Mungiu, Arnaud Desplechin and Jacques Audiard, whose latest film “The Sisters Brothers” played at Venice and will screen next at Toronto. Attab’s first experience as a full-on producer was on Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” which world premiered in competition at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and won prizes for actor (Joaquin Phoenix) and screenplay. Attab is developing an English-language feature with BAFTA-nominated helmer Yann Demange, who recently directed “White Boy Rick,” which unspooled at Telluride, and the feature debut of actor Samir Guesmi (“The Returned”).

Stephanie Bermann (pictured center)
Co-Founder, Domino Films

Bermann founded Domino Films with Alexis Dulguerian six years ago after heading acquisitions at leading independent distribution company Mars Films for eight years. During her tenure at Mars Films, she worked on its first production, Eric Lartigau’s “La Famille Belier,” which was a smash hit in France. Hubert Charuel’s “Bloody Milk,” a genre-bending thriller set in the farming world, marked the first feature film produced by Domino Films. The movie world-premiered at Cannes’ Critics’ Week last year and went on to win three Cesar Awards: best first film, male newcomer for Swann Arlaud and female newcomer for Sara Giraudeau.

Catherine Bozorgan
Founder, Manchester Films
Bozorgan created production outfit Manchester Films 10 years ago and is best known for producing films by critically acclaimed French helmer Albert Dupontel, whose latest film “Au Revoir La-Haut” won five Cesar Awards, including for director. Bozorgan previously co-produced Bertrand Blier’s “The Clink of Ice” and Bouli Lanners’ “The First, the Last.” Bozorgan is developing Dupontel’s next film, “Adieu les Cons,” a contemporary drama laced with dark comedy in the vein of his hit “9 Month Stretch.” Bozorgan expects to start shooting the film during the third quarter of 2019.

Didar Domehri
Founder, Maneki Films and Full House

After heading international sales at Films Distribution (now called Playtime) for eight years, Domehri launched production company Maneki Films and label Full House in 2009. Domehri’s latest production, Eva Husson’s “Girls of the Sun,” about a battalion of female resistance fighters, world-premiered in competition at Cannes and will be playing at Toronto film festival. Domehri has collaborated with directors from all over the world, including Laurent Cantet (“Return to Ithaca”), Santiago Mitre (“La Cordillera”), Peter Webber (“Pickpockets”) and Pablo Trapero (“Elefante Blanco”). Domehri serves on the selection committee for the National Film Board’s Aide aux Cinémas du Monde and represented France at the 2017 Cannes Producers on the Move.

Florence Gastaud
Co-founder, Les Compagnons du Cinema

Gastaud, the former managing director of France’s authors, directors and producers guild — ARP — launched production vehicle Les Compagnons du Cinema in 2016 with Michel Hazanavicius, the Oscar-winning director of “The Artist,” and Riad Sattouf, the comic-book artist and director of “French Kissers.” Gastaud’s first production, “Redoutable,” directed by Hazanavicius, world-premiered in competition at Cannes last year. The film explores the tumultuous romance between director Jean-Luc Godard and actress and novelist Anne Wiazemsky against the backdrop of the May 1968 riots. Next up, Gastaud is producing Sylvie Verheyde’s “Madame Claude,” a female-powered gangster film, and co-producing the sophomore outing of Israeli director Tom Shoval (“Youth”).

Julie Gayet (pictured left)
Co-founder, Rouge Intl.

Although many know her as the girlfriend of former French President Francois Hollande, Gayet is a successful actress-turned-producer who co-produced, through her Paris-based Rouge Intl., two movies that were nominated for an Oscar earlier this year — Ziad Doueiri’s “The Insult” and Agnes Varda’s “Faces Places” — as well as Julia Ducournau’s critically acclaimed “Raw.” Gayet had a pair of films playing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival: Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte’s “The State Against Mandela and the Others” in Special Screenings, and Alejandro Fadel’s “Muere Monstruo Muere” in Un Certain Regard. Gayet is also an associate producer on Marta Bergman’s French-Romanian film, “Alone at My Wedding,” which is now in post-production.

Emilie Georges (pictured right)
President, Memento Films Intl.

Georges is the founder and president of Memento Films Intl., a sales company with a pair of films with Asghar Farhadi’s “Everybody Knows” slated for a Gala Presentation at the Toronto festival. The outfit’s current slate includes Benedict Andrews’ “Against All Enemies” with Kristen Stewart and Justin Kurzel’s “True History of the Kelly Gang” with Russell Crowe and George MacKay. Georges also produces through her outfit La Cinefacture. Notable films include Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name,” which earned her an Oscar nomination earlier this year. Georges recently launched another banner, Paradise City, dedicated to making three films a year (two in English) from rising filmmakers mainly from Europe and the U.S. She is developing a project with “Small Crimes” helmer Evan Katz (in co-production with David Lancaster) via Paradise City, and “Quiet Land,” the English-language debut of “Home” director Ursula Meier (co-produced with Pauline Gygax) via La Cinefacture.

Carole Lambert
Founder, Windy Prods.

Screenwriter-turned-producer Lambert launched Windy Productions last year and attended Cannes’ Un Certain Regard with its inaugural film, Vanessa Filho’s “Angel Face.” The film stars Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard as a single mother who abandons her 8-year-old daughter after meeting a man during a night out. Lambert teamed up with two French co-producers, Marc Missionnier (Moana Films) and Stephane Celerier (Mars Films), who will also be distributing “Angel Face” in France. Lambert previously co-founded the production outfit De Films en Aiguilles, with Carine Ruszniewski. Through that banner, Lambert produced Shola Lynch’s doc “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners,” which drew an honorable mention at the Tribeca festival in New York.

Marie-Ange Luciani
Co-founder, Les Films de Pierre

The Corsican-born Luciani is the co-founder of Les Films de Pierre (with Hugues Charbonneau) and the producer of Robin Campillo’s AIDS drama “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” which won Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize last year and other awards worldwide. Luciani, who favors daring films that address political or social issues, previously produced Campillo’s Venice prize-winning drama “Eastern Boys” and Abdellah Taïa’s “Salvation Army.” She and Charbonneau are developing Campillo and Taïa’s next projects as well as Sandrine Lannoo’s thought-provoking documentary “L’Attente des Femmes,” inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s 1952 film “Waiting Women,” about women serving long prison sentences.

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