Eric Michel of the NFB and Yves Jeanneau of Les Films D’Ici, coproducers of director Patricio Guzman’s Chile la memoria obstinada (1997 Vue Sur Les Docs prix-du-public winner in Marseilles), both have docs in the works that tackle America.
Michel’s project, Planet Hollywood, is about the conflict between American commercial cinema versus les films d’auteur, with a focus on the hackles raised by the American studio-flick domination of screentime in Europe. Sylvie Graulx is directing the three-hour CDN$850,000 doc produced by Canada’s NFB, which plans to shoot in Canada, the U.S., France, Germany and Italy, starting October. arte is in on Planet Hollywood and Socižtž Radio-Canada is the expected Canadian broadcaster. While the BBC is a likely presale suspect (the show is 2/3 in English, 1/3 French), and A&E is being approached, Michel, wary after months of research, anticipates some spirited reaction out of the U.S. to the project. ‘Some people in the U.S. studios,’ he says, not entirely tongue-in-cheek, ‘wait for us with baseball bats.’
Jeanneau is producing Dreams and Nightmares: Norman Mailer’s America, three one-hours out of Paris-based D’Ici, likely for the BBC and France 2, in the six million FF range. Focussing on the post-war political, social and cultural evolution of the U.S., this is the first doc in which Mailer has agreed to personal involvement. It also has October shoot plans; Eric Copans directs, Michael Seiler and Jean-Pierre Catherine are the writers.
Although Michel and Jeanneau had discussed coproducing both projects, at press time it looked like a no go on the quid-pro-quo copro.
In the meantime, Chili la mžmoire obstinže – shot in Chile and produced in Montreal for confederates La Sept Arte, WDR and RTBF – has become a darling of the festival circuit, adding Cinžma du Ržel in Paris, Toronto International Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, Florence’s Festival dei Popoli and Yamagata International Documentary Festival in Japan to its screen dance card. New York-based First Run/Icarus Films is expected to release the film, which revisits the Pinochet coup, in the U.S. this fall at the New York Film Forum. NFB is the international distrib.
Also in this report:
-Selected Production Briefs
-Spotlight OnÉDevillier Donegan Enterprises