U.K.-Irish production company Film and Music Entertainment (FAME), in Berlin with Agnieszka Holland’s “Charlatan” and Ivan Ostrochovsky’s “Servants,” has unveiled five new film projects from its Irish division, including new films by Georgian helmer Mariam Khatchvani and Albanian director Fatmir Koci.
“Charlatan,” which FAME co-produced with Sarka Cimbalova of Prague-based Marlene Film Production and Kevan Van Thompson (“Jojo Rabbit”), premieres in Berlin’s Gala Special Screenings on Thursday. The pic’s co-producers include Poland’s Madants Film, Czech Television, Barrandov Studios and Radio and Television Slovakia. Films Boutique is handling world sales.
“Servants,” which unspooled Sunday in Berlin’s new Encounters section, tells the story of 17-year-old best friends Michal and Juraj, who leave their home village of Spis in communist Slovakia to join a Catholic seminary in Bratislava. FAME co-produced the film with Ostrochovsky’s Bratislava-based Punkchart Films. Laurent Danielou’s Loco Films is selling “Servants” internationally; the pic has already sold to France’s ARP.
FAME, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, has five new projects in its 2020 Irish production slate. The company is again partnering with Vladimer Katcharava’s Georgian shingle 20 Steps Productions on “Nene,” the follow up to Khatchvani’s award-winning “Dede.”
Base on a true story, “Nene” centers on the subject of the arbitrary use of power by law enforcement agencies and their use of force against citizens. The film will be produced and written by Katcharava, in partnership FAME co-principals Mike Downey and Sam Taylor. The project took part the Cannes Cinefondation and also won the Asia-Pacific Screen Awards development grant in December.
The company has also boarded Koci’s adaptation of Arthur Machen’s semi-autobiographical fantasy novel “Hill of Dreams,” in which a young aspiring writer seeks beauty through literature but is lured by a femme fatale into a visionary world of fantasy and nightmare in Victorian London.
“Machen has inspired artists and writers as far and wide as Michael Powell and Mick Jagger, from ‘Lost Boy’ Peter Llewellyn-Davis to former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams as well as being a huge influence on director Guillermo del Toro,” FAME said.
FAME’s slate likewise includes Irish documentary filmmaker Alan Gilsenan’s “The Greening of Latin America,” which traces the history of the Irish who ventured forth to make a life in South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. Today at least half a million Latin Americans claim direct Irish ancestry and heritage.
In addition, the company is again partnering with Jamillah van der Hulst and Conrad Alleblas’ JaJa Film Productions on a new “Streetkids” soccer documentary. “Streetkids United IV – The Kids from Doha” will take up the story of the over 200 street-connected children from across the world who will come together in Moscow for their own international football tournament, festival of arts and congress for their rights. The film will be an Irish-Dutch-Qatari co-production.
FAME is also working on an adaptation of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” and has what it describes as a major TV series in the late stages of development.