Santiago Mitre, the critically acclaimed Argentinian director of “Paulina” and “The Summit,” is set to make his French-language debut with “Petite Fleur,” a film weaving dark comedy and surreal drama.
“Petite Fleur” is being produced by Didar Domehri at Maneki Films. Playtime is associate producer on the film and has boarded international sales.
Written by Mitre and Mariano Llinas, “Petite Fleur” is adapted from the novel “Pequeña Flor” by the Argentinian writer Iosi Havilio. The film centers on José, a jobless young father who inexplicably kills his neighbour after listening to the jazz standard Petite Fleur during a visit at his home. But the next day, José discovers that his neighbour is alive, as if nothing ever happened. José feels the urge to kill him again, but he keeps reappearing. Murdering his neighbour becomes part of José’s new routine, along with taking care of the baby, fixing the house and trying to save his couple.
“Petite Fleur” will bring together an eclectic cast including Daniel Hendler (“25 Watts”), Vimala Pons (“Elle”), Melvil Poupaud (“By the Grace of God”), Sergi López (“Happy as Lazzaro”), Françoise Lebrun (“The Diving Bell and The Butterfly”) and Eric Caravaca (“By the Grace of God”).
Mitre made his feature debut with the 2011 drama “The Student” which won the Jury Special Prize prize at Locarno; and his sophomore outing with “Paulina,” winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes’s Critics Week and the FIPRESCI award, as well as the Horizons prize in 2015. His latest film, the political thriller “The Summit” played at Un Certain Regard in Cannes and went to play at Toronto in 2017.
“Petite Fleur” is being co-produced by Argentina’s La Unión de Los Ríos, Belgium’s Panache Productions and La Compagnie Cinématographique, Spain’s Setembro Cine and France’s Logical Pictures, in association with Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Regional Film Fund, in association with Playtime, Arte/Cofinova 16, Indéfilms 8, and Cinéaxe.
The movie is being backed by Eurimages, INCAA, the Région Île-de-France (in partnership with the CNC), with the participation of Ciné + and Movie Tax Invest. It was developed with the support of the CNC’s development grant, Europe Creative Media, Indéfilms Initiative 8, B Media Développement, the Procirep & the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region’s writing grant. “Petite Fleur” was also selected at the Berlinale Co-Production Market last year.
The Paris-based distribution company KMBO will handle the French release of “Petite Fleur.”