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Les Arcs’s Work-in-Progress Session Showcase ‘The Wildness,”In My Room,”Dovlatov,”Koko-di Koko-da’

Variety logo Variety 12/11/2016 Elsa Keslassy
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Ulrich Köhler’s “In My Room,” Alexey German Jr’s “Dovlatov,” Johannes Nyholm’s Swedish comedy “Koko-di Koko-da” and Guerin Van Der Vorst’s “The Wildness” were among the 16 feature films presented at the Work-in Progress session at the French-Alps set Les Arcs European Film Festival.

Produced by Belgium’s Wrong Men and France’s ChevalDeuxTrois, “The Wildness” is a contemporary drama starring rising French actor Vincent Rottiers as a young man who gets indocrinated by radical Islamists.

Nyholm’s Swedish comedy “Koko-di Koko-da” marks the helmer’s follow up to “The Giant” which played at San Sebastian and Toronto. Dovlatov,” whose director German Jr previously directed “Under Electric Clouds” which won Berlin’s Silver Bear for outstanding contribution. Meanwhile, “In My Room” is directed by Köhler whose 2011 drama “Sleeping Sickness” won Berlin’s Silver Bear for best director.

Frederic Boyer, who is in charge of the Work-in-Progress session and serves as artistic director of Les Arcs as well as Tribeca festival, said “The Wildness” had already triggered early interest from festivals. Three clips of the film were shown at Les Arcs.

Gathering top-level sales agents, distributors and festival programmers, the session got more competitive this year with a full-blown jury who will hand out two prizes: The inaugural Eurimages Lab Project Award, an initiative launched by the Council of Europe’s fund, and the Hiventy award, which consists in a 10.000 euros grant for post-production services.

Les Arcs is one of the four festivals – along with Haugesund, Karlovy Vary, Thessaloniki —– to roll out the Eurimages Lab Project Award, which consists in a 50,000 euros cash prize.

Boyer said none of the films presented at Les Arcs’s work-in-progress have been shown before. “We know there are so many co-production and co-financing forums throughout Europe, so at Les Arcs we strive to stand out by presenting images from films in post which have not been shown elsewhere and which don’t have a sales agent,” explained Boyer, who also noted the session’s mandate was to choose arthouse films that are artistically ambitious, yet have a crossover appeal.

On top of hosting its traditional oysters and cheese reception following the presentations, Boyer pointed out the session will be completed for the first time by one-one-one meetings between producers/directors and sales agents and/or distributors and sales agents. “The idea behind these meetings is to fast-track collaborations and give the event a more professional frame, while maintaining a casual, informal atmosphere encouraging everyone to mingle,” added the artistic director, who helmed Cannes’ Directors Fortnight before joining Tribeca.

Other promising films include “The Real Estate” from Swedish helmers Måns Månsson, whose latest film “Yard” played at Berlin and Axel Petersén, who previously directed “Avalon” which won Toronto’s Fipresci award; Rungano Nyoni’s “I Am Not A Witch,” a U.K./French co-production between Soda Pictures and Clandestine Films.

The work-in-progress session presented several innovating, unconventional films that are not purely narrative, notably Ben Russell’s “Good Luck” and Konstantin Bojanov’s “The Elephant In A Dark Room.”

One of the rare genre films to be pitched at Les Arcs was “The Hidden City” directed by Spanish helmer Victor Moreno, whose 2012 documentary “The Building” was nominated for a Goya and played at San Sebastian and Buenos Aires.

The two prizes will be unveiled on Monday and will be followed by a party in an igloo co-organized by Variety.

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