The Cannes’ Film Market – in co-operation with the Fantasia International Film Festival will, for the third year, present the Frontières Platform for genre film projects and works in progress, running May 18-19.
Over the two days, Cannes Film Market will host two platforms for the 14 selected productions: Proof of Concept presentations for those still in financing stages, and a Buyers Showcase for films in post-production or recently completed.
Six features will participate in this year’s Buyer’s Showcase, where representatives will screen footage to sales agents, distributors and festival programmers. Meanwhile, seven projects which participated in the Frontières Finance & Packaging Forum in Helsinki this past February will offer up teasers at the Proof of Concept Presentations.
This year the event will also give out two new awards, the Frontières Warner Music Supervision Award and the Frontières Post Control VFX Boost Award.
“We can’t wait to introduce this year’s incredibly strong selection to the industry in Cannes, and are thrilled that our partnership with the Marché du Film continues to produce such excellent results for our projects,” Lindsay Peters, Frontières executive director, said at the announcement of the 14 participating projects in April.
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“Frontières is now established as a major event that supports the development and distribution of genre films,” added Jérôme Paillard, executive director of the Marché du Film – Festival de Cannes. “We’re very proud of being a part of this unique multi-stage market with the Fantasia Film Festival which has also proved its capacity to follow projects through.”
From the Buyers Showcase, Argentina’s undisputed scream queen Tamae Garateguy’s “The Furies” is a feast of color, light, music and blood which follows two opposite-side of the tracks lovers on a violent quest for revenge against those who’ve stood against them.
Elbert van Strien’s “Marionette” tells the story of a therapist at odds with a young boy who claims he can alter her future. It’s co-produced by Accento Films and Burny Bos BosBros.
In director Nora Unkel’s debut feature “A Nightmare Wakes,” a young author’s creations come to life in vivid and horrifying ways which see her questioning her friends, loved ones and her own sanity.
Canada’s Steven Kostanski is a special effects makeup whiz who executes his talents with aplomb on “PG (Psycho Goreman).” The film promises plenty of action and movement, as well as top-notch prosthetics for its often extra-terrestrial characters.
“Skinwalker” from Christian Neuman turns on psychologically fragile Regine, who is trying to build a life for her family – safer and happier than the one she had as a child. Escaping past traumas is not so easy however, and Regine must revisit the horrors of her past to protect herself and her family.
Finally, in Elza Kephart’s “Slaxx”, a possessed pair of jeans begins brutally murdering the staff of an upscale clothing store, leaving it up to one brave young salesclerk to stop the gory spree. Canada’s EMAfilms produces.
Participating in the Proof of Concept presentations are a number of promising titles with fantastic elements. The selection boasts a diverse lineup of filmmakers representing territories large and small, with a progressive gender mix of filmmakers.
“Arctic Chills” is an anthology of six shorts from an eye-catching list of Indigenous women filmmakers, all featuring themes common across the Arctic north and told using Indigenous storytelling traditions.
According to director Jens Dal’s, “Breeder” is a modern take on survival horror mixed with a love story in a facility where people are farmed like animals. “We are going to explore the darker sides of biohacking to address the disenfranchisement so many – especially young people – feel today.”
“Cursed,” from filmmakers Salomeya Sabko and Maria Dudko, turns on five teenagers who witness a girl’s death on Instagram Live. However, whether the death was a suicide or something far more sinister is unclear. The film is produced by Cyprus’ Bazelevs and will employ their signature Screenlife format, in which all action takes place on a phone screen.
Elise Salomon’s “Inside” follows an American psychology student visiting a remote Irish island to try and help a widowed composer deal with sever agoraphobia. Lines blur and it becomes unclear if the shut-in is losing his mind, or if there is something physically keeping him inside.
In “Layers of Lies” firefighter Sam Kashani gets involved in a hostage situation while evacuating a burning building in Tehran. Years later, the arsonist who set the fire and his business partner join forces to kidnap Sam’s wife and exact their revenge. Ramin Sohrab directs the feature produced by Helsinki-based Sonram Productions.
In Lindsay MacKay’s “Mersea,” Meredith, a mermaid, saves a young child and his uncle from drowning. For stealing two lives that belonged to the sea, she is condemned to live out her now rapidly-passing, solitary life on land. One day, a young man shows up who could get her back to her home, but trading his life to the sea gets harder the more she gets to know him.
2019 CANNES FILM MARKET, FRONTIÈRES GENRE PLATFORM
“The Furies,” (Tamae Garateguy, Argentina)
“Marionette,” (Elbert van Strien, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Scotland)
“A Nightmare Wakes,” (Nora Unkel, U.S. Canada)
“PG (Psycho Goreman),” (Steven Kostanski, Canada)
“Skin Walker,” (Christian Neuman, Luxembourg, Belgium)
“Slaxx,” (Elza Kephart, Canada)
PROOF OF CONCEPT PRESENTATION
“Arctic Chills,” (Ashley Savard, Jerri Thrasher, Sardana Savvina, Elin Marakatt, Sinituuli Kalttopää, Marc Fussing Rosbach, Canada, Norway, Greenland, Russia, Finland, Sweden)
“Breeder,” (Jens Dahl, Denmark)
“Cursed,” (Salomeya Sabko, Maria Dudko, Cyprus)
“Inside,” (Elise Salomon, U.S.A., Canada, Ireland)
“Layers of Lies,” (Ramin Sohrab, Finland, Iran)
“Mersea,” (Lindsay MacKay, Canada)
“Slash/Back,” (Nyla Innuksuk, Canada)