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Breaking News : Cineuropa – Lovemilla leads the pack for Reel Suspects

CANNES 2015 Market/France

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Lovemilla leads the pack for Reel Suspects

by Fabien Lemercier

– A market premiere at Cannes for the zany Finnish romantic comedy and the start of pre-sales for My Peaceful Place of Exile

Lovemilla by Teemu Nikki

An eclectic line-up packed with European films for the French international sales agentReel Suspects, with four premieres at the Marché du Film of the 68th Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May 2015). Standing out among them is the Finnish film Lovemilla [+] byTeemu Nikki. Starring Milka Suonpää, Joel Hirvonen, Mari Rantasila, Matti Onnismaa, Rami Rusinen and Pyry Laakso, this production staged by It’s Alive Film is an over-the-top romantic comedy blending love, robots and bodybuilding. The plot revolves around Aimo and Milla, who live together at the house of the young woman’s alcoholic and “zombified” parents, and who are saving up in order to gain their independence. But Aimo lacks self-confidence and squanders their savings by trying to find a fast-track way to build up his muscles. As the results do not measure up to his expectations, he even begins to dress up as a robot, which is not to Milla’s liking, and so she leaves him. This break-up has some unexpected consequences…

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On the Croisette, Matteo Lovadina’s team will also be able to pin its hopes on the market premieres of Manieggs – Revenge of the Hard Egg [+] by Zoltan Miklosy (read thereview), a Hungarian animated film brimming with scathing humour, the British drama Stillby Simon Blake (toplined by Irish actor Aidan Gillen, who is world famous for playing the character of Littlefinger in Game of Thrones) and the Canadian film Surfacing by Lindsay MacKay.

At Cannes, Reel Suspects will also be launching pre-sales for My Peaceful Place of Exileby Dāvis Sīmanis, a co-production between Latvia and Lithuania (Locomotive Productions and Studio Uljana Kim), starring German actor Ulrich Matthes, Agnese Cīrule, Dmitrijs Javlovs, Leonīds Lencs and Toms Liepājnieks. The plot unfolds during the final year of World War One, and the lead character is a German military surgeon sent to inspect a convalescent home for patients suffering from post-traumatic psychosis and who attempts to restore the unusual facility to good working order.

Lastly of note on the line-up are German Angst by Jörg Buttgereit, Michal Kosakowskiand Andreas Marschall (revealed at Rotterdam – read the review in English), which will be screened at the market, the Indian fantasy film in post-production Ludo by Q and Nikon, and the Berlinale-selected The Blue Hour by Thai director Anucha Boonyawatana and Portrait of the Artist [+] by Antoine Barraud.

(Translated from French)

Breaking News : Screen – Reel Suspects boards Aidan Gillen thriller ‘Still’

Reel Suspects boards Aidan Gillen thriller ‘Still’

EXCLUSIVE: Paris-based outfit boards international rights to UK thriller.

Matteo Lovadina’s Paris based-sales outfit Reel Suspects has acquired world sales rights to UK thriller Still, starring Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones).

The film, which premiered last year at the Galway Film Fleadh, where it won Best International First Feature award, marks the debut of writer-director Simon Blake.

The London-set thriller charts the violent disintegration of a father who is unable to come to terms with the loss of his son in a car accident.

Verve Pictures will distribute in the UK in May, while Film Movement has rights in North America.

“I am very happy to come on board Simon Blake’s debut feature, which has already proved itself on the international festival circuit,” said Lovadina.

“Aidan Gillen’s performance is incredibly powerful and compelling. The Game of Thrones fans will be delighted to experience Aidan’s vast talents, in an equally thrilling, yet very different, setting.”

Producers are Blunt Pictures and 011 Productions in association with Lipsync Productions LLP.

Breaking news : Variety – Reel Suspects Draws ‘Portrait of an Artist’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Bertrand Bonello starrer just selected for Berlin Fest’s Forum section

PARIS – Matteo Lovadina’s Paris-based Reel Suspects has boarded French director Antoine Barraud’s “Le Dos Rouge” (Portrait of an Artist), starring high-profile Gallic helmer Bertrand Bonello(“Saint Laurent,” “House of Tolerance”). Vet director Barbet Shroeder (“Single White Female,” “Murder By Numbers”) also has a cameo in the movie.

Co-starring Jeanne Balibar and Geraldine Pailhas, “Portrait” has just been selected for next month’s 65th Berlin Fest Forum section. It also screens Saturday

An auteur genre movie – Reel Suspects major speciality as a sales agent – “Portrait” turns on a renowned filmmaker who becomes obsessed by imagery of monstrosity, which he determines, will be central to his next film. Scouring for the perfect painting to illustrate his movie, he hires an art historian, plumbs the oeuvres of Bacon, Leon Spilliaert, Caravaggio, Theodore Chasseriau, Hans Bellmer and many others. But as the idea of “the monstrous” starts to take shape in is mind, a large red sore begins to fester on his back.

A tireless director-producer with a hectic one-decade career, Barraud helmed his feature film debut, “Les Gouffres” (“The Sinkholes”) with Nathalie Boutefeu and Mathieu Amalric, which screened at the 2012 Locarno Fest, along with Stephen Dwoskin’s “Age Is…,” which he produced. Barraud also co-produced with Homegreen Films Tsai Ming Liang’s “Madame Butterfly,” and helmed a long series of experimental shorts on figures such as Kenneth Anger, Shuji Terayama and Koji Wakamatsu. He directed his first short, “Monstre,” in 2005.

“I have always had a deep-felt, mysterious obsession with museums. Their apparent calm and solemnity in displaying what would be classified elsewhere as madness, psychiatry, beat-up lyricism,” Barraud said.

“Nonetheless, through time, I couldn’t avoid becoming a “hasty” visitor, more eager to “see” the paintings than actually “looking” at them. “Portrait of the Artist” took shape in an effort to counter this troubling trend. This need fused with the idea of putting together a personal panorama of monstrosity in art: The transfigured face of a young girl by Hans Bellmer, the skin disorders of a Brazilian slave in a painting by Joachim da Rocha, Leon Spilliaert’s emaciated figure in his self-portraits, the veiled and phantom-like gaze of Balthus’ “Alice”, and then Bacon, Caravaggio, and many more.

Bonello, who also scored the film, was surprised, “excited and terrified” to be offered the lead role, Barraud recalled.

“I imagined a gallery of strange and witty creatures for him to communicate with: His spouse, his producer, a historian, a young journalist and many others. The multiple faces and characters in this film are the expression of his own self. They all convey towards him. What makes this film exciting for me is the outcome of two different desires: Mine and his.

Vincent Wang, Cedric Walter and Barraud produce “Portrait”. It receives a market screening Saturday at Paris’ UniFrance Rendez-vous with French Cinema

Breaking news : VARIETY – Artsploitation takes U.S. on Reel Suspects’ ‘Horsehead’ (EXCLUSIVE)

‘German Angst,’ also sold by Reel Suspects, secures Rotterdam Fest berth

Matteo Lovadina’s Paris-based Reel Suspects has sold U.S rights to supernatural fantasy “Horsehead,” a French genre auteur fest hit, to Raymond Murray’s Artsploitation Films, a indie distributor specializing in unsettling art or genre film fare from around the world.

The sale comes as Reel Suspects’ “German Angst,” a horror triptych, has been selected for the Rotterdam Festival. Artsploitation aims to give “Horsehead” a limited theatrical release before its distribution on DVD and VOD.

A first feature from France’s Romain Basset, but shot in English, “Horsehead” has played many of the world’s top genre/fantasy fests, establishing its credentials among fanboys (and girls), including Austin’s Fantastic Fest, Spain’s Sitges, Mexico’s Morbido Fest, the Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre meet, and Germany’s Exground Filmfest.

From Starfix Productions – and associate produced by Lovadina – “Horsehead” has already been licensed by Reel Suspects to Canada (Black Fawn Distribution), South Korea (Lumix Media) and Taiwan (Moviecloud). Lovadina said he expected more sales to close at next month’s Berlinale.

Written by Basset and Karim Cheriguene, “Horsehead” turns on a girl, Jessica, who suffering graphic nightmares from childhood, and now studies the psychophysiology of dreams. When her grandmother dies, Jessica returns to the family home, where her grandmother’s body is placed in the adjoining room.

Running a high fever, she attempts to experiment with lucid dreaming – from which some people never recover – so as to control her nightmares and confront the evil that has haunted her and her family house: An evil horse-headed monster. Gradually the boundary between dreams and reality blurs.

“’Horsehead’ is a very stylish, clever and powerful first-time feature, in the line of the ‘giallo’ movies of Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci, but integrating imagery in a world which the director has made his own,” said Lovadina.

French actress-singer Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux plays Jessica, Brit Catriona Maccoll – a cult actress to genre connoisseurs after starring in Fulci’s “The Gates of Hell” trilogy – limns her mother; singer-actor Murray Head (“Sunday, Bloody Sunday”) is a family friend.

“I am very happy to be working again with Artspoitation, whose great team is passionate and devoted to films, as they already proved with our previous title, ‘Vanishing Waves,’” Lovadina told Variety.

He addeds: “Horsehead’ is our cross-over star of 2014-15, arthouse genre, which we are used to selling from Reel Suspects’ beginnings. The power of those films, where the author has something to say, is that they can attract both arthouse niche and genre audiences, festivals are really supportive on this type of title, and foreign horror can generate nice numbers on VOD in the U.S.”

Another arthouse mix with genre, here sci-fi, “Vanishing Waves,” directed by Lithuania’s Katrina Buozyte, sold to Artsploitation; Kino Lorber acquired U.S. rights to Reel Suspects’ 2014 title “Patch Town,” Craig Goodwill’s comedic fairy tale.

Making its world premiere at the Rotterdam Fest’s Really? Section, which focuses on “contemporary reality,” “German Angst” is a German three-part horror movie directed by Jorg Buttgereit, whose “Nekromanitik” helped re-launch modern German horror film, Andreas Marschall, director of “Tears of Kali,” a Melies d’Argent winner, and Michal Kosakowski, whose “Zero Killed,” a controversial fiction/docu feature on murder fantasies, won best film at the 2012 Chicago Underground Festival.

Tales turn on love, horror and sex in Berlin: In Buttgereit’s “Final Girl,” a young girl lives alone in a dirty apartment, save for her guinea pig and a man, which is bound and gagged; Kosakowski’s ”Make a Wish” has hooligans attacking a young deaf-mute couple, who fight back using a powerful talisman; a man is promised the ultimate sexual experience, taking a Mandragora plant drug, which has terrible side effects in Marschall’s “Alraune.”

Rotterdam is “the perfect platform to launch the film, the audience will be surprised and shocked,” Lovadina said. The film will make its market premiere at Berlin’s European Film Market, is highly anticipated and a web buzz title,” he added.

Alamode Film/Pierrot Le Fou has acquired rights to German-speaking Europe on “German Angst.” Lumix Media and Moviecloud have also bought the movie.

Breaking News : Cineuropa, Reel Suspects acquires NUDE AREA

Nude Area: the most tantric, televisual experience imaginable

by Thomas Humphrey

– The movie sees Antoniak marry Nothing Personal‘s lyricism with Code Blue‘s potential for controversy; the results are visually stunning, witty and always thought-provoking

Nude Area opened the Focus on Polish Cinema section at this year’s Tallinn Black Nights Festival, and it immediately proved why we need more female directors. Many make films about lesbianism, but few take their discussion of the “L-word” as far as Urszula Antoniak‘s Polish-Dutch co-production does. In short, this film depicts a lesbian love affair that is so intense it cannot be experienced lucidly, in a linear way (and indeed, this movie is certainly not linear).

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Instead, Antoniak divides her work into a catalogue of L-words (love, labour, limit, languor…), each acting as a chapter or “fragment” in this complex look at female desire. The result is a discussion that turns out to be universal. It becomes about how all-consuming love can be; how it can transport, overwhelm, fulfil, or even leave us unmoved. But Nude Area‘s tale of interracial love also asks some probing questions; ones that perhaps only a woman could ask aptly.

The film explores the West’s tendency to attach fetish value to Eastern culture, reifying rather than respecting it. But instead of resisting that tendency, this film cuts it open for our consideration. Additionally, Antoniak’s dissection of attitudes towards Islam carries with it a potential feminist critique: if the hijab is meant to keep a woman’s beauty private from men, what is there to stop the lass at the local, women-only swimming baths from falling hopelessly in love with you?

Antoniak really demonstrates how complex feminism amendments can become when a woman is given room to explore them. One such example is feminism’s exposure of art’s tendency to depict men as gazers, whilst women merely appear – as if they were presenting themselves for man’s objectifying looks. But Nude Area asks: what if the gazer and the observed are both women?

On this note of subjectivity and objectivity, the film opens with an epigraph taken from Roland Barthes: “[The lover] speaking within himself, amorously, confront[s] the other (the loved object), who does not speak.” Straight away, the suggestion is that Antoniak wants to take this dynamic beyond feminist territory. What we have instead is a cerebral look at human desire.

Desire proves to be an opportunity for the lover to project their wishes onto the beloved, relegating them to an object. But in this respect, Nude Area shows how little male and female desires differ. All the same, Antoniak never simply defers to Barthes’ idea. The two lead actresses, Sammy Boonstra (Naomi) and Imaan Hammam (Fama), are forever moving between empowered and passive states, subjectivity and objectivity, fragility and strength – roles that these two actresses play perfectly.

Hammam, as the object of desire, has all the annoyance of Bambi being caught in the headlights of somebody else’s passion, whilst Boonstra’s desperately searching eyes flawlessly convey the equally helpless lover, turning this almost speechless film into a revelation. Boonstra often sits before us rather like a Romantic poet: mysteriously hidden behind her fringe, flanked by books, forever elegant.

But Nude Area constantly lulls us into her Romantic states, too. We happily sit in Naomi’s rocking chair of fantasies – perhaps fantasies we all take to dizzying heights when sat on the bus. This movie relentlessly tips us out of our rockers as well, though, as it snaps us in and out of reveries, soundscapes and static images. And as a result, we never remain certain what is fantasy or fully realised fantasy; with the shift between the two sometimes being so bathetic it genuinely makes you smile.

Despite this irony, written words still unfold across the screen and lyrics flow, making poetry part of the film, despite the absence of dialogue. Images also communicate ideas metaphorically (like all the sexually charged, coursing water in this movie, for example). But water imagery coupled with shots of reflections even come to intricately suggest an unattainable, self-projected form of love… Put simply, Nude Area is just the most tantric, televisual foreplay imaginable.

See also

Breaking News : massive again, with 2 titles @ Sitges film festival

Dear Friends,

Once again this year, we are happy to confirm our presence at the Sitges Film Festival ! With two features selected in competition :)

  • HORSEHEAD
  • RUIN

We would be pleased to shake hands and let you check out our latest acquisitions and future projects. We will be at the Melia from the 5th till the 9th october…

Attending in Sitges :

Matteo LOVADINA
M: + 33 6 14 45 62 78

Skype: matteolovadina

With our warmest regards,

Reel Suspects Team :)

Breaking News : Horsehead International Premiere @ FantasticFest

We are thrilled to anounce that Horshead will have its International Premier in Austin (Texas), in the Horror Competition Section of the FantasticFest 2014.

More info at the link : http://fantasticfest.com/films/horsehead-fievre