(SCREENDAILY) Filmart 2023: seven European buzz titles for buyers
Hot on the heels of a busy Berlinale, European sales agents have flown to Filmart looking to reconnect in-person as well as strike up new business relationships in Asia. Hong Kong has traditionally been a valuable location for sellers to access buyers from the region who might not travel to Europe or the Americas, as well as continue talks with buyers between Berlin and Cannes.
At Filmart’s first physical edition since 2019, European sellers are presenting recently awarded Berlinale titles such as Philippe Garrel’s The Plough alongside upcoming films including action sequel Darkland: The Return and Anna Novion’s elite student drama Le Théorème De Marguerite.
20,000 Species Of Bees (Sp)
Dir Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren
Young actress Sofia Otero won the Silver Bear at Berlin for her performance as an eight-year-old transgender girl in this drama. Director Solaguren’s fiction feature debut follows a child who struggles with the fact people address her in ways she finds confusing. She explores her identity alongside the women of her family during a summer among the beehives in the Basque Country.
Contact Jennyfer Gautier, Luxbox
Darkland: The Return (Den)
Dir Fenar Ahmad
Following director Ahmad’s action thriller Darkland in 2017, Dar Salim returns as a heart surgeon who sought revenge on his brother’s killers. After seven years in prison, he goes undercover for the police in a violent gang, while attempting to build a relationship with his estranged son. Produced by Profile Pictures, the film is in post-production with a Danish release planned for April 2023.
Contact Nicolai Korsgaard, TrustNordisk
Disco Boy (Fr-It-Belg-Pol)
Dir Giacomo Abbruzzese
Winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear for Hélène Louvart’s cinematography, this is the fiction feature debut of France-based Italian director Abbruzzese, following his Cesar-nominated doc America. Disco Boy follows the intertwining stories of a French Foreign Legion fighter (Franz Rogowski) and a man trying to save his village from oil companies in the Niger Delta (newcomer Morr Ndiaye). The cast also includes Laetitia Ky and Leon Lucev.
Kina & Yuk (Fr)
Dir Guillaume Maidatchevsky
French wildlife director Maidatchevsky (Ailo’s Journey) uses live-action footage of animals in their natural habitat to tell this Arctic adventure of two foxes that are about to become parents when global warming tears them apart. Produced by Valdés (Ailo’s Journey), the film is in post-production with a French release set for December 20, 2023 by UGC Distribution.
Contact Alexandre René, Newen Connect
Measures Of Men (Ger)
Dir Lars Kraume
This historical drama, which premiered at the Berlinale, follows a 19th-century ethnologist (Leonard Scheicher) who meets a female interpreter (Girley Charlene Jazama) for a Namibian delegation in Berlin. He later travels to find her in South West Africa and disprove the prevalent white supremacist theories of the time, but runs into colonial oppression and massacre. Director Kraume’s credits include 2015’s award-winning The People Vs. Fritz Bauer and 2018’s The Silent Revolution.
Contact Picture Tree International
The Plough (Fr-Switz)
Dir Philippe Garrel
Winner of the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlinale, Garrel’s film revolves around three siblings, played by the veteran director’s real-life children. They are the latest generation in a family of puppeteers whose desire to continue in their vocation is tested by a tragic event. The prolific French filmmaker is a prize-winning regular at Cannes, Berlin and Venice with titles such as Regular Lovers and Lover For A Day.
Contact Antoine Guilhem, Wild Bunch International
Le Théorème De Marguerite (Fr-Switz)
Dir Anna Novion
From the director of Rendez-Vous In Kiruna, this film stars Ella Rumpf (Raw) as a brilliant mathematics student who decides to quit everything and start over following a mistake on the day of her thesis presentation. The film also stars Jean-Pierre Darroussin (The Dazzled) and Julien Frison (Happening). Produced by France’s TS Productions and Switzerland’s Beauvoir Films, Le Théorème De Marguerite is in post-production. Pyramide Distribution will release in France and Outside The Box in Switzerland in the second half of 2023.
Contact Pyramide International