Film und Medien Stiftung NRWNewsPressFive Filmstiftung-backed productions at Cannes Festival, two of them competing for the Palme d’Or

Five Filmstiftung-backed productions at Cannes Festival, two of them competing for the Palme d’Or

  • Opening film in the Competition: musical „Annette“ by Leos Carax with Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver
  • In Competition: Mahamat-Saleh Harouns with „Lingui“, Made in Germany, Cologne
  • Out of Competition: „Evolution“ by Kornél Mundruczó, Match Factory Productions, Cologne
  • Opening film Un Certain Regard: "Onoda – 10 000 Nights in the Jungle" by Arthur Harari, Pandora
  • Un Certain Regard: „Prayers for the Stolen“ by Tatiana Huezo, also by Match Factory Productions, Cologne
  • Baumi Script Development Award winner Omar El Zohairy with "Feathers" at the Semaine de la Critique
  • 74th Festival de Cannes from 6 to 17 July, 2021
  • German Pavilion with small presence in the Marché du Film

The Festival de Cannes has just announced that another four Filmstiftung-backed productions have been selected to screen in the festival’s Competition, Out of ompetition and Un Certain Regard sections. It had already been announced in April that the drama "Annette" by the exceptional director Leos Carax would be opening the festival.

„Five films backed by the Filmstiftung at the Festival de Cannes, with two of them competing for the Palme d’Or! We congratulate the producers Melanie Andernach, Viola Fügen, Christoph Friedel, Michael Weber and Fabian Gasmia on being invited to the Croisette. A real accolade for the four film teams“, says Petra Müller, CEO of the
Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. „The fact that the festival can take place again this year is an important sign for the film industry. Cannes is good for business and cinematic art. Cannes whets the appetite for film. And that’s exactly what we need now, in the summer, when cinema is coming back.“

About the films

All Hollywood is fixated on just one subject: the relationship of Ann DelGreco, the graceful opera singer, with Henry McHenry, the coarse stand-up comedian. But it’s not long before a tragic accident tears a hole in the flawless façade of the two lovers and their daughter Annette reveals a mysterious talent. 'Annette' gave the exceptional director Leos Carax (‚The Lovers on the Bridge‘) the chance to fulfil a childhood dream: direct a musical. The music comes from the legendary 1980s musicians Sparks. Adam Driver, Marion Cotillard and Simon Helberg are in the leads. Other producers apart from Detailfilm are France’s CG Cinéma and Belgium’s Wrong Men and Scope Pictures. The film was shot in North Rhine-Westphalia at locations in Vogelsang, Cologne, Münster, Mönchengladbach and Düsseldorf Airport. The Filmstiftung backed the production with 500,000 Euros. Additional funding came from the German-French Mini-Traité (FFA/CNC), Eurimages and CNC.

The multiple award-winning writer-director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun sheds light in his drama „Lingui“ on the life of the single mother Amina who was treated as an outcast by her family and society after becoming pregnant whilst still unmarried. When her 15-year old daughter is raped and also becomes unintentionally pregnant, she faces the same fate. After all, abortion is a criminal offence in Islamic Chad and one can’t expect any justice. The two women have no choice but to help themselves. The producers of the international co-production are Cologne-based Made in Germany Filmproduktion, France’s Pili Films and the Belgian company Beluga Tree. Déjà-vu will be distributing the film theatrically in Germany, with world sales being handled by Films Boutique. The Filmstiftung NRW supported the film with 120,000 Euros. Additional backing came from the FFA’s German-French Mini-Traité.

Kornél Mundruczó returns with "Evolution" after his Oscar-nominated film "Pieces of a Woman". A drama showing three generations of a Jewish family, from the end of the Second World War in Budapest to present-day Berlin. Whilst Europe continues to bear the brunt of centuries-old conflicts, the family learns how past traumas find their way into the present while looking at the same time towards a more hopeful future. Lili Monori, Annamaria Lang, Goya Rego, Padmé Hamdemir are cast in the leads. Production companies: Match Factory Productions, Proton Cinema (HU) in co-production with ZDF/arte and Proton Theatre. The Filmstiftung supported the film with 50,000 Euros, with additional funding coming from MDM, the National Film Institute Hungary, DFFF, and the Hungarian Film Incentive. International sales are being handled by The Match Factory.

„Onoda – 10 000 Nights in the Jungle"
The drama "Onoda – 10 000 Nights in the Jungle" by Arthur Harari is about the Japanese intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda, who was sent as a lieutenant to the Philippine island of Lubang during the Second World War. When Japan surrenders, the isolated group carries on fighting, with Onoda continuing for nearly 30 years until 1974. Arthur Harari wrote the screenplay with co-writer Vincent Poymiro. The producers of the international co-production are Cologne-based Pandora Filmproduktion, France’s Bathysphère Productions SARL, Belgium’s Frakas Productions and Italy’s Ascent Film SRL, with participation from the broadcaster Arte. The film will be distributed theatrically in Germany by Rapid Eye Movies, with world sales being handled by Le Pacte. The Filmstiftung supported the production with 170,000 Euros. Additional support came from the German-French Mini-Traité and Eurimages.

„Prayers for the Stolen“
„Prayers for the Stolen” is the first feature film by the documentary writer-director Tatiana Huezo. In a mountain town in Mexico, three young girls take over the homes of refugees, disguise themselves as women when no one is looking, and have a place to hide so as to be safe from those who want to take them away. But dark echoes of violence become an inescapable threat. The producers of the internationalen co-production are Cologne’s Match Factory Productions and Mexico’s Pimienta Films with Devisa (Brazil) and Bord Cadre Films (Switzerland) in coproduction with ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel/arte. Funding came from EFICINE, the Hubert Bals Fund + Europe, the World Cinema Fund, Ancine, BRDE, FSA, the Doha Film Institute, SFFF Rainin, Cinereach, and the Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund. The Filmstiftung NRW supported the film with 50.000 Euros. International sales are being handled by The Match Factory.

In 2016, the Egyptian filmmaker Omar El Zohairy received the inaugural Baumi Script Development Award. The jury and the first edition’s guest judge Fatih Akin were convinced that the project idea would offer an absurd, funny and ultimately dramatic story which calls the essence of our humanity into question. According to the jury, the story would have immediately thrilled Baumi and his great love for world cinema. The €20,000 award enabled Omar El Zohairy to develop his screenplay independently. "Feathers" tells of a family whose father is transformed into a chicken by a magician. The previously passive and self-sacrificing mother has to fight for the family’s survival. She increasingly becomes a strong and independent woman. The French-Egyptian-Dutch-Greek co-production will be having its world premiere in the competition of this year’s Semaine de la Critique and is therefore also nominated as a debut film for the Caméra d’Or.

German film industry in Cannes
The German film industry will have a presence at the Marché du Film again this year. The joint stand of German Films and Focus Germany, the umbrella organisation of the eight largest German regional film funds, will be considerably smaller due to the pandemic. Producers and other filmmakers will still have an opportunity to make appointments and meet industry colleagues at the German Pavilion subject to strict hygiene regulations. Appointments must be booked in advance since the pavilion’s capacity is very limited.


For more information:

Tanja Güss
Film- und Medienstiftung NRW GmbH
Kaistr. 14
40221 Düsseldorf