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Les Arcs to Showcase New Projects by Jonas Alexander Arnby, Agnieszka Smoczyńska

Denmark’s Jonas Alexander Arnby, France’s Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, and Poland’s Agnieszka Smoczyńska are among up-and-coming directors from across Europe whose latest projects will be presented at the 11th Coproduction Village of Les Arcs Film Festival.

This edition of Les Arcs Coproduction Village will showcase a total of 22 European projects spanning 19 countries. The forum is meant to help filmmakers and producers find sales agents, distributors, as well as co-production and financial partners.

A rising polish director, Smoczyńska, will present her English-language debut, “Silent Twins” about sibling who have spent 14 years in a high-security psychiatric hospital and have developed a unique way of communicating. The film will be produced by Madants. Smoczyńska previously directed a short in the omnibus horror film, “The Field Guide To Evil,” and the film “Fugue” which world premiered at Cannes Critics’ Week.

Gagnol and Felicioli, the directors pair behind the Oscar-nominated animated feature “A Cat in Paris” and “Phantom Boy,” will present “Tales of The Hedgehog,” a social fable about a resourceful 10-year-old determined to help her father, a factory worker who has just lost his job. The company Parmi Les Lucioles Films will be producing “Tales of The Hedgehog.”

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Arnby, whose feature debut “When Animals Dream” world premiered at Cannes’s Critics Week and sophomore outing “Suicide Tourist” opened at Sitges, will be pitching “In The Eyes of God.” The project will be produced by the well-established Danish company Profile Pictures (“Rams”).

Other noteworthy projects set for Les Arcs include “La Edad Desnuda” from the Costa Rica-born filmmaker Valentina Maurel, whose graduation short “Paul est là” won the first prize at Cannes’s Cinefondation in 2017 and second short “Lucía en el limbo” premiered at Cannes’s Critics Week this year; and “Ghostdance,” a politically-engaged animated feature dealing with issues such as crimes committed against women and the need for greater gender equality.

“Ghostdance” will be directed by France’s Nicolas Blies, Stephane Hueber-Blies and Canada’s Kim O’bomsawin and is being developed by the Luxembourg’s companies A_Bahn, Mélusine Productions and Canadian banner Terre Innue.

“La Edad Desnuda” was developed at the Next Step program organised by Critics Week and follows a 16 year-old girl from Costa Rica who is experiencing a loyalty conflict following the divorce of her parents while going through a teenage crisis. The film will be produced by France’s Geko Films and Belgium’s Wrong Films

Among the projects selected, 12 are debut features and seven are from established directors. All projects pitched at the Coproduction Village will compete for ArteKino Festival Award of a €6.000 value.

Meanwhile, the anticipated Work in Progress session of the festival, which is spearheaded by Frederic Boyer, the artistic director of both Les Arcs and Tribeca festivals, will present 18 feature film projects in post-production from 21 countries. This event, aimed at sales agents and distributors, has a strong track record — many films that are presented in the Work in Progress session at Les Arcs end up getting selected at major festivals. Last year only, Les Arcs’s alumni Levan Akin’s “And Then We Danced” was selected at Cannes’s Directors Fortnight, and Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher” competed at Berlin. “System Crasher” is also competing at Les Arcs this year.

The industry village is expected to bring together 800 industry professionals from key companies across Europe. This year’s guest countries are Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and as part of the focus, Les Arcs will be hosting panel discussions on these countries’s fundings and production schemes.

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