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The Daily 2010

22 May
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Cinefondation Atelier: 400 sessions for 15 projects

the 22.05.2010 at 12:00 AM - Updated on 22.05.2010 at 8:30 PM


The sixth edition of theAtelier of the Cinéfondation closed yesterday. Fifteen directors looking for funding met with potential co-producers, distributors, foreign salespeople, funding bodies. Explanations and results from Georges Goldenstern, director of the Cinefondation.
15 projects were selected for the Atelier. Is this a set number?
Yes, it’s always 15. Given that we are in Cannes and that it’s about showcasing projects, 15 is a maximum. In Cannes, there are so many solicitations are it is important to ensure that the projects presented have a chance to close on their funding and get made.

What are the selection criteria for the Atelier?
Quality and originality. The projects must also have raised 20% of their budget. On the other hand, there are no geographic criteria. It doesn’t matter either if it is a first or a second or a tenth film, because even directors who already have a certain reputation can find it challenging to get funding for a more difficult project.

This year, there are in fact three directors whose films have already been selected at the Festival de Cannes: Rithy Panh, Shinji Aoyama, and Jaime Rosales. Is this a recent trend?
In the past we have also received Tsai Ming Liang for Visage, in Competition last year, or Apichatpong Weerasethakul.  This year, these three projects are there for different reasons. Decadent Sisters by Shinji Aoyama deals with an era that the Japanese do not like to talk about much, in 1945, when the Emperor of Japan asked women to offer themselves to American soldiers. Dream and Silence by Jaime Rosales is a very risky bet. Finally, to my great surprise, Gibier d’élevage by Rithy Panh did not get funding from Fonds Sud.

So this isn’t because of greater difficulty in getting funding for films?
No, I thought there would be a “recession effect” last year but I have seen many Americans coming: Sundance Channel, Sony Classics…. This year, we held 400 meetings with 110 companies compared to 300 and 80 last year. That being said, if it continues to grow, it’s also because the films cannot be made any more with funding just from their own countries and they have to gather smaller amounts from various sources.

How many projects come to fruition?
100% for the Atelier held two years ago. For last year, 8 out of 15 have already been filmed, but if you count the ones in preparation, it is 100% again. One of the only exceptions is Kishta by Dover Kosashvili (Late Marriage, Gift from Above) that was at the Atelier in 2006, a beautiful project that terrified everyone.

Are there many former residents at the Atelier?
There is only one, Jaime Rosales. I don’t want to have the same people on the circuit, I mean going from short film selectionRésidence, into Residence and into the Atelier. We would be going in a circle.

Many former Cinefondation directors are presenting their films in Cannes now...
Yes there are many examples of that and we are very pleased about it. Kornel Mundruczo, who wrote Delta in Residence, is presenting his latest film in Competition. Agnes Kocsis, selected in Un Certain regard, with Pal Adrienn, did a school film in 2006.  Alicia Duffy wrote All good Children, a film in the Directors’ Fortnight, when she was in Residence. The Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di was at the Atelier in 2008, with Bi, Dung So! that just won the Prix SACD in Critics’ Week. And finally, New Zealander Daniel Joseph Borgman, currently in Residence, just won the Prix Canal+ in Critics’ Week for his short film Berik.

Which part of the project was awarded a prize by Arte ?

Arte gave out two tied awards to Massoud Bakhshi for Khorramshahr and to Srdan Golubovic for Circles. But the prize was not divided by two; Arte gave a cheque for 6,000 euros to each of them.

Comments taken by B. de M.
The sixth edition of theAtelier of the Cinéfondation closed yesterday. Fifteen directors looking for funding met with potential co-producers, distributors, foreign marketers, funding bodies. Explanations and results from Georges Goldenstern, director of the Cinefondation.
15 projects were selected for the Atelier. Is this a set number?
Yes, it’s always 15. Given that we are in Cannes and that it’s about showcasing projects, 15 is a maximum. In Cannes, there are so many solicitations are it is important to ensure that the projects presented have a chance to close on their funding and get made.

What are the selection criteria for the Atelier?
Quality and originality. The projects must also have raised 20% of their budget. On the other hand, there are no geographic criteria. It doesn’t matter either if it is a first or a second or a tenth film, because even directors who already have a certain reputation can find it challenging to get funding for a more difficult project.

This year, there are in fact three directors whose films have already been selected at the Festival de Cannes: Rithy Panh, Shinji Aoyama, and Jaime Rosales. Is this a recent trend?
In the past we have also received Tsai Ming Liang for Visage, in Competition last year, or Apichatpong Weerasethakul.  This year, these three projects are there for different reasons. Decadent Sisters by Shinji Aoyama deals with an era that the Japanese do not like to talk about much, in 1945, when the Emperor of Japan asked women to offer themselves to American soldiers. Dream and Silence by Jaime Rosales is a very risky bet. Finally, to my great surprise, Gibier d’élevage by Rithy Panh did not get funding from Fonds Sud.

So this isn’t because of greater difficulty in getting funding for films?
No, I thought there would be a “recession effect” last year but I have seen many Americans coming: Sundance Channel, Sony Classics…. This year, we held 400 meetings with 110 companies compared to 300 and 80 last year. That being said, if it continues to grow, it’s also because the films cannot be made any more with funding just from their own countries and they have to gather smaller amounts from various sources.

How many projects come to fruition?
100% for the Atelier held two years ago. For last year, 8 out of 15 have already been filmed, but if you count the ones in preparation, it is 100% again. One of the only exceptions is Kishta by Dover Kosashvili (Late Marriage, Gift from Above) that was at the Atelier in 2006, a beautiful project that terrified everyone.

Are there many former residents at the Atelier?
There is only one, Jaime Rosales. I don’t want to have the same people on the circuit, I mean going from short film selection, into Résidence, and into the Atelier. We would be going around in circles.

Many former Cinefondation directors are presenting their films in Cannes now...
Yes there are many examples of that and we are very pleased about it. Kornel Mundruczo, who wrote Delta in Residence, is presenting his latest film in Competition. Agnes Kocsis, selected in Un Certain regard, with Pal Adrienn, did a school film in 2006.  Alicia Duffy wrote All good Children, a film in the Directors’ Fortnight, when she was in Residence. The Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di was at the Atelier in 2008, with Bi, Dung So! that just won the Prix SACD in Critics’ Week. And finally, New Zealander Daniel Joseph Borgman, currently in Residence, just won the Prix Canal+ in Critics’ Week for his short film Berik.

Which part of the project was awarded a prize by Arte ?

Arte gave out two tied awards to Massoud Bakhshi for Khorramshahr and to Srdan Golubovic for Circles. But the prize was not divided by two; Arte gave a cheque for 6,000 euros to each of them.

Comments taken by B. de M.

 

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