BARCELONA – Yanick Létourneau’s Quebec-based production house Peripheria has teamed with lead producer Samuel Chauvin’s Promenades Films in France, as well as Haiti’s Muska Group and Canal Plus Antilles to co-produce comedic-thriller “Kidnapping Inc.,” the sophomore feature of French director Bruno Mourral (“Kafou”).
France’s CNC National Film Board, French-language TV channel TV5 Monde and the Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) are also backing the title which marks a novel Haitian play for broad audiences.
“Kidnapping Inc.” joins Philippe Lacôte’s “Night of the Kings ”on a Peripheria production slate whose credits, past and present, confirm it as one of Canada’s most cosmopolitan producers, seeking to nurture talent and help build industries in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Past credits include Juan Andres Arango’ “X500” and Ioana Uricaru’s “Lemonade.”
Set in Haiti “’Kidnapping’ is a broad audience comedy about kidnapping, turning on a politicians who hire young and supremely incompetent gangsters to kidnap a young politician. The kidnappers abduct the wrong person, sparking chaos, Létourneau told Variety at Los Cabos. He confirmed that the shoot had begun but been postponed because of Haiti’s ongoing political upheaval. The producers aim to resume as soon as the situation calms down.
The two amateurish thugs, Doc and Zoe, accidentally kill the son of a senator in the middle of an election. To avoid certain execution, they think up a bizarre and disastrous get-out scheme.
“Kidnapping is penned by Gilbert Mirambeau and the Haiti-born director Mourral, the writing team behind “Kafou,” also a comedic thriller which premiered at Austin Festival and snagged the Indie Spirit Special Recognition Award at the Boston Festival, among other kudos.
“Night of the Kings,” on which Peripheria serves as a minority producer, marks the second feature from French-Ivorian director Philippe Lacôte. Lead produced by Delphine Jaquet at France’s Banshee Films and co-produced by Peripheria and Ernest Konan’s Wassakara from Ivory Coast. The feature has just wrapped, in Grand Bassam and Abidjan, where the director was born, in Ivory Coast.
Written by Lacôte with the collaboration of Jaquet and Gino Ventriglia, and with obvious “Arabian Nights” echoes, “Night of Kings” is set at penitentiary in the depths of the forest which is run by the prisoners themselves. Roman, a young convict, is forced by the prison overlord Barbe Noire to tell a story during a night of red moon. What he doesn’t know is that after finishing, he will be killed.
Of Canadian elements brought to the production, Tobie Marier Robitaille (Nicole Palo’s “Emma Peters”) served as DP, Aube Foglia as the main editor and Olivier Alary (Carlos Sánchez’s “Allure”) oversees the soundtrack.
“We had been looking for a strong African project we could collaborate on that had potential to resonate across borders. The film is a drama with genre elements that make it both modern and poetic,” Létourneau said.
Lacôte’s debut “Run” premiered at Cannes Un Certain Regard in 2014 winning prizes and becoming a critical success. Bac Films-sold “Run,” which has proved a key boost for the Ivory Coast film industry.