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Charades steam ahead to make a beeline for Berlin’s online market


- Five new films including Her Way and The Scars of Ali Boulala, and six post-production titles shine in the French vendor’s bumper line-up

Charades steam ahead to make a beeline for Berlin’s online market
The Scars of Ali Boulala by Max Ericsson

Armed with an undeniably positive mindset, allowing them to surmount the risks involved in the nervous management of a health crisis, French international sales agent Charades is primed and ready to offer distributors new prospects at the 71st Berlinale’s European Film Market (running online 1-5 March).

Indeed, no fewer than five new films will enhance the extensive line-up put forward by the team composed of Yohann Comte, Carole Baraton, Pierre Mazars and Constantin Briest. Shining especially bright among these, we find the French feature Her Way by Cécile Ducrocq (starring Laure Calamy at the head of the cast – read our article – pre-sold on the basis of a script and a promo) and the documentary The Scars of Ali Boulala by Sweden’s Max Eriksson, of which several excerpts were unveiled last month in the Les Arcs Work in Progress event. Ali Boulala became legendary in the 1990s for being the most fearless and eccentric skateboarder of his time. But in 2007, Ali and his teammate were involved in a tragic motorcycle accident which changed Ali and the skateboarding community forever. Using private archive material and newly shot scenes, the film tells the story of Ali’s rise and fall, as well as his path towards potential redemption. Ali must now decide whether he is ready to confront his past or whether some wounds are simply impossible to heal. This first feature film is being sold via a teaser. Produced by Mario Adamson and Ashley Smith on behalf of Swedish firm Sisyfos Film Production and co-produced by Anita Norfolk for the Norwegian group Folk Film, the movie primarily enjoys the support of the Swedish Film Institute.

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Another Scandinavian title arriving in the sales agent’s line-up, promo reel in tow, is the comedy-tinged thriller Wild Men by Danish director Thomas Daneskov (in post-production, produced by Nordisk Film Spring). The group are also due to kick off sales on Boiling Point by English helmer Philip Barantini (produced by Burton Fox Films), a work which is set to enjoy its market world premiere in Berlin and which thrusts Stephen Graham into the role of a chef in one of the biggest restaurants in London, working under the immense professional pressure associated with the Friday before Christmas, against a backdrop of debts, addiction and his personal life imploding.

The 5th title to be announced is the animated film in production Belle by the Japanese maestro Mamoru Hosoda (whose previous opus Mirai, which was also sold by Charades, was unveiled at the Directors’ Fortnight event in 2018).

Also worth a mention is the first trailer for the animated film Dogtanian And The Three Muskehounds, an adaptation of the adventures embarked upon by the famous characters created by Alexandre Dumas. This production by Spanish firm Apolo Films, in league with Cosmo Maya (Singapore/India), is a reboot of the popular Japanese cartoon series broadcast at the beginning of the 1980s.

Stealing focus in the vendor’s post-production offerings, meanwhile, are six films, of which five are being pre-sold via promo reel: Petrov’s Flu [+see also:
film profile
by Russia’s Kirill Serebrennikov, Madeleine Collins by Antoine Barraud, Little Nicolas’ Treasure by Julien Rappeneau, The Test by Emmanuel Poulain-Arnaud (article) and the stop motion animation Even Mice Belong in Heaven by the Czech duo Denisa Grimmová and Jan Bubenícek. By contrast, The Kitchen Brigade by Louis-Julien Petit (read our article), on which filming is set to wrap, will be sold on the basis of a showreel.

The online event will also see Charades continuing sales on a dozen or so finished films, including Chloé Mazlo’s wonderful and highly original work Skies of Lebanon (starring Italy’s Alba Rohrwacher), which was awarded Cannes’ 2020 Critics’ Week label and is yet to enjoy an official international premiere.

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(Translated from French)

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