In the year when Mauritanian Timbuktu director Abderrahmane Sissako will head up Cannes’ Cinéfondation section, two African projects are named among those selected for the Cinéfondation’s Atelier project market.
João Viana’s Portugal-Angola title Our Madness. Viana won a prizes with two films at the 2013 Berlinale. Better known as an actor, South African Louw Venter is selected with The Tree.
Eight of the projects hail from Europe, while two South Americans are also named: Brazilian Paula Un Mi Kim with Butterfly Diaries and Colombian Carlos Osuna with The Contestant.
Three selections come from Asia. After international festival success with short films, Sri Lanka’s Pradeepan Raveendran makes th jump to features with Soundless Dance. Burma-born Midi Z had a strong 2014 with plenty of festival success with his Bing Du/Ice Poison playing several A list events and collecting prizes in Edinburgh and his current home Taipei. He attends Cannes with The Road to Mandalay.
Singaporean Kirsten Tan is one of four female directors named in the 15-strong selection. She’ll take Popeye to Cannes, one of the few projects that’s already got some public profile. At the Singapore International Film Festival late last year, Tan’s debut feature was named one of the slate of titles that Ilo Ilo director Anthony Chen’s newly-minted production company Giraffe would produce.
The Atelier has a pretty solid track record of helping films get made. Of the 156 projects that have passed through its doors, 103 have already been released and 40 are in pre-production.
Cinéfondation will run its Atelier 15 – 21 May. The Cannes Film Festival will run 13 – 24 May.