Toronto based genre specialist, Raven Banner Entertainment has picked up International rights to director Mattie Do’s next genre bending feature, Dearest Sister, pioneering Lao-European co-production.
Do’s sophomore feature tells the story of a village girl who travels to capital Vientiane to care for her rich cousin who has mysteriously lost her sight, and somehow gained the ability to communicate with the dead. Matters are further driven downfall by the cousin’s ambivalent marriage with an Estonian expat, who has his own dark secrets to hide. Music and radio celebrity Vilouna Phetmany and Estonia’s theatre and screen veteran, Tambet Tuisk (Poll, Demons, Zero Point) play the couple with Amphaiphun Phommapanya debuting as the village girl.
A coproduction between Laos, France and Estonia, the film will be shot in the late Spring 2015 with producer’s duties shared by Do for Lao Art Media, Annick Mahnert for Screen Division and Sten Saluveer & Helen Lõhmus for Oree Films with Estonia’s Mart Ratasepp lensing the film with a mixed European and Lao crew. Postproduction of Dearest Sister will take place later this year in France and Estonia and is set for a release in 2016.
Do previously directed Chanthaly, the first ever Lao genre film and was chosen as part of a handful selected to present Dearest Sister in the World Cinema Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014 as part of the Institut Français’ Fabrique des Cinemas du Monde and was one of ten international filmmakers selected to participate in the Toronto International FIlm Festival Talent Lab in late 2014. Mattie Do is, to date, the only woman to direct a feature film in Laos.
XYZ Films is representing Dearest Sister in the U.S.
PRESS RELEASE: Oslo, March 6, 2015 – Nordisk Film & TV Fond is proud to announce today the seven feature projects selected for its new NORDIC GENRE BOOST initiative.
Following the launch of the NORDIC GENRE BOOST initiative last December, Nordisk Film & TV Fond has received a record number of 113 applications. The seven projects selected will receive a development grant of NOK 200.000 each, as well as access to two intensive residential workshops. The first workshop will be held as part of Night Visions International Film Festival in Helsinki (April 15 – 19, 2015) and the second in Haugesund during New Nordic Films’ Co-Production and Finance Market (August 19 – 20, 2015) where the projects will be pitched to buyers, distributors and funders.
At the Helsinki-workshop, the selected projects will get coaching on script development, financing and sales and festival strategies from a team of skilled professionals and tutors of genre films comprising Brendan McCarthy (producer, Ireland), Gino Ventriglia (script consultant, Italy), Jan Forsström (script consultant, Finland) and Annick Mahnert (sales & festival consultant, France).
Valeria Richter, Project Manager of NORDIC GENRE BOOST said: “We were firstly overwhelmed and very happy with the huge interest and secondly, with the high quality of the projects that range from horror to science fiction and dystopian fantasies. Our editorial line was to look for projects that would benefit the most from the two workshops and the development process that we offer. ”
Nordisk Film & TV Fond CEO Petri Kemppinen said: “The response from our NORDIC GENRE BOOST initiative has been amazing and shows that it fulfils a need in the market. The selected genre titles offer an interesting combination of new talents collaborating with established producers and experienced directors. “
Screen Division will be traveling to Helsinki in April to consult with the Nordic Genre Boost, a new initiative from the NordiskFilm & TV Fond, which aims at supporting the development of Nordic genre film and TV series on the Nordic and international market.
The first workshop in Helsinki will be organized together with the Night Visions Festival. The second one arranged in collaboration with New Nordic Films in Haugesund will be followed by a presentation of the projects at the Nordic Co-Production and Finance Market.
The workshops (April 17th-21st) will be coordinated by Valeria Richter, an independent creative producer, script consultant and tutor/head of studies at various industry events including the TorinoFilmLab.
Screen Division was present at the Berlinale and the European Film Market between February 4th-11th, meeting with sales agents, festivals, producers and distributors. SD successfully matched producers and sales agents, some of whom signed deals for worldwide distribution, and worked closely with its clients, leading to distribution deals in some territories.
Screen Division also brought the project It Came from the Desert to Toronto based sales agent Raven Banner Entertainment. Tero Kaukomaa (producer of Iron Sky) is filling an executive producer role on the Finnish backed, English language big screen adaptation of classic 1980s giant bug video game It Came From the Desert. The action-horror-comedy tells a story of a giant mutated ants which wreak havoc in New Mexico desert. The film will also follow on the legacy of the game and tie into the original story as new characters make an appearance several decades later to discover new horrors.
Screen Division will attend the Göteborg Nordic Film Market from January 29th to February 2nd.
The Nordic Film Market is the principal market place for Nordic feature films and TV drama and the meeting place and networking platform for the Scandinavian and international film industry attending Göteborg Film Festival. Distributors and Sales agents get an exclusive opportunity to see new and upcoming films and discover fresh talent from this region.
Directed by Mattie Do, DEAREST SISTER is about a Lao village girl who’s only chance of escaping indentured poverty is to manipulate her wealthy cousin’s illness into dependence. The film, which will be shot in Laos in Spring 2015, is a coproduction between Laos (Lao Art Media), Estonia (Orée Films) and France (Screen Division).
In 2013, Mattie became the first Lao filmmaker to represent Lao film at the Cannes Film Market as part of the Institut Français’ La Fabrique des Cinemas du Monde. Later that year, Mattie was one of ten international filmmakers selected to participate in the Toronto International FIlm Festival Talent Lab.
Mattie Do is, to date, the only woman to direct a feature film in Laos.
Despite the fact that European genre films are now enjoying greater success in the mainstream, there still exists a gap between the now bustling genre and the already-established film community. While they generate impressive revenues at the box office, for regional film funds or the industry at large, genre films still seem to be too scary to be taken seriously.
In order to tackle this divide by linking the hottest up-and-coming European genre masterminds with already-established players in the European film landscape, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival’s inaugural European Genre Forum, organised together with French consulting agency Screen Division, Croatia’s Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival and Finland’s Night Visions International Film Festival, with support from the Goethe-Institut, presented eight genre projects at a pitching session on 26 November.
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The pilot of European Genre Forum 2014 will kick of in one week with 10 EGF talent projects and 10 visiting talents meeting an exciting week full of workshops, panels and pitching sessions.
The European Genre Forum (EGF), the creative camp for the hottest European genre film talent sees 16 filmmakers take over Industry @ Tallinn with fresh ‘in development’ projects. The pilot organized in partnership with established players of the genre circuit, Night Visions Film Festival (Helsinki), Zagreb Fantastic FF (Zagreb), and Screen Division (Paris) sets to boost the careers for future players in the genre biz through a week of trainings, panels and pitching sessions in conjunction with Goethe-Institute’s Creative Camp Tallinn.
The 10 directing and producing talents put forward by EGF partners include Seth Ickerman (France), Helen Lõhmus & Oskar Lehemaa (Estonia), Talal Selhami (France), Aleksi Hyvärinen, Misha Jaari & Vesa Virtanen (Finland), Nevio Marasovic & Vanja Vascarac (Croatia), Tea Korolija (Serbia), and Aik Karpetian (Latvia) pitching their upcoming films at the inaugural EGF development and networking session with industry leaders.
Screen Division is traveling to the 34th edition of the Festival International du Film d’Amiens in France, to participate at a pitching event together with Lao director and producer Mattie Do. Do will be presenting her new project, DEAREST SISTER, to a coproducing pool on November 20th. Screen Division is an associate producer.