Spanish filmmaker Fernando Colomo’s true life-inspired comedy La bande a Picasso and French helmer Philippe Ramos’ historical drama Joan Captive, were standout film projects presented at the 4th Ile-de-France and Madrid Film Commissions’Co-production Meeting.
Taking place Tuesday at the San Sebastian Film Festival, the forum hosted 30 film projects coming equally from Spain and France.
La bande is based on the real story of the young Pablo Picasso who makes ende meet in Paris at the dawn of the 20th century and gets involved in a robbery at the Louvre Museum.
Madrid-based production house Colomo Producciones Cinematograficas plans a Paris shoot in French, said exec producer Beatriz de la Gandara. Pic is budgeted at ¤7 million-8 million.
Paris’company Sophie Dulac Productions presented “Joan Captive,”a ¤3.8 million project directed by Philippe Ramos (“Captain Ahab”) about the last events during Joan of Arc’s imprisonment.
French thesp Clemence Poesy (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) is attached to play Joan of Arc,according to pic producer Michel Zana.
Other projects being tub-thumped at the San Sebastian meet included Juan Pablo Martin Rosete’s “The Chess Player,” turning on a Spanish chess championship winner who was falsely accused of being a Nazi spy in France. The ¤2 million pic has Madrid and Paris as shoot locations.
Ile-de-France and the Madrid Film Commission began to organize the San Sebastian co-production meetings in 2005, with a 2008 hiatus. “San Sebastian fest is an ideal place to celebrate this meeting: It has a favorable environment for indie films that encourages co-productions. Also, it’s midway from Paris to Madrid,” said Olivier- Rene Veillon, IDFFC general manager.
“This edition, film budgets are more contained than in previous years because of the difficulties in obtaining financing these days,” added MFC manager Manuel Soria.
Meeting organisers estimate that some five projects of the total 30 presented will go into production, with, logically, most possibilities for those whose subject matter affects both countries. The selected projects will be aided by the two commissions in further production stages.
The MFC-IDFFC meeting has already showed its effectiveness. Javier Rebollo’s romantic drama “Lo que se de Lola,” a co-production between France’s Lazennec and Spain’s Lolita Films and Malvarrosa Media, premiered in 2007 in competition at San Sebastian after being pitched at the forum.
IDFFC and MFC also form part of European network Capital Regions for Cinema, whose other partners are Berlin’s Medienboard and Italy’s All Set Roma- Lazio Film Commission.
“A strong film project has enough potential to not be limited to its own country. If you have that project, it’s possible to find co-production partners. CRC’s members’goal is to facilitate this for producers,”Veillon and Soria agreed.