News in brief
03 March 2017 à 12:26
... Justin Taurand, producer of Heal the Living
Winner of the 2016 IFCIC Prize, which honors an up-and-coming independent production company, Justin Taurand is director of Les Films du Bélier, which he founded in 2002. He has produced around 40 short films and half a dozen feature films, most recently Heal the Living by Katell Quillévéré, which was selected at Toronto and Venice, and which has just been presented at the Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York.
The presentation of Heal the Living, which was co-produced by Les Films Pelléas, marks your first experience of the New York Rendez-Vous. Do you see taking part in this event as an important moment in the life of a film producer?
It's all the more important as our film is scheduled for release in the USA on April 14 by Cohen Media, who acquired the distribution rights when the film was presented at Toronto. It was crucial for me to be here at the Rendez-Vous event, because here is where all of the promo for the USA takes place, or at least a major part of it. It's very fortunate for us that our American distributor Charles Cohen owns a movie theater, the Quad, which is closed right now for renovations but will open at the time of the film's release, which will considerably boost its visibility. We screened the film at the Rendez-Vous yesterday to an almost packed theater. It's a magnificent theater, and we felt a strong reaction from the audience to the film and its themes, which are universal: life, death, and how it all intertwines—which director Katell Quillévéré has explored in detail. The film's reception and the impact it had on audiences was clearly visible to us.
You took part in a discussion on film co-productions between France and the USA held yesterday at Lincoln Center. From the point of view of an independent French production company, what did you take away from this discussion?
There is a genuine desire to co-produce, and the American producers who were there yesterday, David Hinojosa from Killer Films and Jay Van Hoy from Parts & Labor, have the background and experience, and the motivation to collaborate on co-productions. But the fact that there is no official Co-Production Agreement between France and the USA reduces the spectrum of possibilities. There are mechanisms in France that support engaging in this kind of co-production, but it's not something that has been highly developed in the past, and my feeling is that there is a strong interest, but it's not exploited.
The ram is a very stubborn animal that is determined to get ahead. Will the future of Les Films du Bélier now be tied to international co-productions?
Yes, this is now a necessary step, for many reasons. If you have ambitious plans for a film on the creative level, co-producing can often be a way to expand these ambitions. It's also a way to compare different approaches, which can enrich film production. At Les Films du Bélier, we are currently in post-production on a co-production with Portugal and Brazil, Tristes Monroes by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniela Schmidt, and we'll soon be launching into the production of a new film by Antoine Barraud, Madeleine Collins, which will be co-produced with Switzerland. In addition, we're working on Hélier Cisterne's second feature, whose screenplay is co-written with Katell Quillévéré, for which we are also looking into international co-production possibilities.
Latest update : 04 March 2017 à 12:26 CET