Les Arcs Film Festival’s Industry Village, one of the many events that switched to virtual due to the pandemic, has unveiled its award-winning projects, which include Delphine Girard’s “Most Alive,” Damien Manivel’s “Magdala” and Sabine Ehrl’s “Paradise Bleeding.”
The event has a stellar track record when it comes to unveiling projects that go on to premiere at prestigious festivals and win awards. Recent alumni include Alex Camilleri’s Malta-set movie “Luzzu,” which will compete at this year’s Sundance, as well as Charlene Favier’s “Slalom,” which was part of Cannes 2020’s Official Selection, and just won the Lumieres Award in France for best female newcomer award (for Noée Abita).
“Paradise Bleeding” was one of the eight projects pitched as part of the Talent Village, a development workshop and platform for emerging talent launched by Les Arcs in 2018. The project won the T Port-Award from a jury comprising producer Florence Gastaud, of Les Compagnons du Cinema and Wild Bunch, producer Amos Geva of T/Port, and Cecile Salin of French distribution company Diaphana.
“Paradise Bleeding” weaves drama, thriller and horror, and is set in a fictional town in Bavaria in the early 1990s at Christmas time. The epic drama follows different families and stories, including a love triangle ending in a violent outburst, teenagers becoming parents, and a struggling wife and mother. A German filmmaker, Ehrl previously directed the dystopian short “F for Freaks,” among other credits.
“Most Alive,” meanwhile, received the ArteKino award, which is headed by Rémi Burah, president of ArteKino Foundation and CEO of Arte France Cinema.
The plot of “Most Alive” unfolds in the aftermath of a night of partying that ends with an assault. The Belgian project revolves around three characters, the woman who was assaulted, the man who attacked her and the female police officer who took the call. Veerle Baetens, the Belgian star of Oscar nominated “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” is attached to headline the film.
“Most Alive,” which is being produced by Versus Production, was pitched at the Co-Production Village. Burah said ArteKino chose to award “Most Alive” because it was a “first movie, a female director, and a very strong topic (which the director) previously treated in a very strong short movie.”
The Eurimages Lab Project Award went to Damien Manivel’s “Magdala,” which was one of the 17 projects presented as part of the Work-in-Progress section, curated by Les Arcs and Tribeca festival.
“Magdala,” produced by MLD Films, is a loose adaptation of Mary Magdalene’s last days in the desert, and stars Elsa Wolliaston, the renowned choreographer.
The Eurimages jury was composed of the filmmaker Claire Burger, journalist Fabien Lemercier, Viennale’s director Eva Sangiorgi, Karlovy Vary’s artistic director Karel Och and Eurimages representative Alex Trӑilӑ.
The jury described “Magdala” as a “mystical and sensorial immersion in the heart of nature” and a “cinematic journey in the last days of Maria Magdalena.”
The TitraFilm Award went to Natalie Alvarez Mesen’s “Clara Sola,” which is set in a remote village in Costa Rica. Produced by Hobab, the project follows Clara, a 40-year-old woman who sets off to break free from social and religious barriers to become the master of her sexuality and newfound powers. Wendy Chinchilla Araya is attached to star.
Lastly, the Alphapanda Audience Engagement Award was given to Valentyn Vasyanovitch’s Ukranian project “Reflection.” Produced by Fore Films, “Reflections” follows a 10-year-old girl, Nina, who is forced to spend a month with her father after her step-father dies in the war in Ukraine, and her mother is hospitalized.
The jury for this prize, which included Juliette Schrameck, a film producer who previously headed MK2 Films, said “Reflection” celebrated the “outstanding power of the human condition during a military conflict.” “The final scene of the work in progress featuring the father and daughter contain the promise of a touching and intimate story with a universal impact,” said the jury.
The virtual Industry Village attracted more than 550 professionals who took part in the Co-production Village and the Talent Village, as well as the Work In Progress section and the Music Village.
In past years, Les Arcs’ Industry Village has served as a launchpad for Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher,” which won the Silver Bear in Berlin in 2019, and represented Germany in the Oscar race in 2020, Lukas Dhont’s Cannes’ Un Certain Regard highlight “Girl,” and “Diamantino,” which topped Directors’ Fortnight in 2018.