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in Hollywood / 24.05.2019

Keira Knightley has Official Secrets

The true story of a British whistleblower Katharine Gun who leaked information to the press about an illegal National Security Agency spy operation will hit select theaters in the US on August 23.

The film, which premiered at Sundance in January, stars Keira Knightley as Gun.

Official Secrets tells the true story of British Intelligence whistle-blower Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley) who, during the immediate run-up to the 2003 Iraq invasion, leaked a top secret NSA memo exposing a joint US-UK illegal spying operation against members of the UN Security Council. The memo proposed blackmailing smaller, undecided member states into voting for war.

At great personal and professional risk, journalist Martin Bright (Matt Smith) published the leaked document in The Observer newspaper in London, and the story made headlines around the world. Members of the Security Council were outraged and any chance of a UN resolution in favour of war collapsed.

But within days, Bush declared he no longer needed UN backing and invaded anyway. As Iraq descended into chaos, Katharine was arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act. Martin faced potential charges too. Their legal battles exposed the highest levels of government in both London and Washington...

Official Secrets is directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ender's Game) and the cast includes Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Conleth Hill, Indira Varma, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Shaun Dooley and Jeremy Northam.

Hood teamed with Sara Bernstein and Gregory Bernstein to adapt the book “The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion” by Marcia and Thomas Mitchell.

This is the second time Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes have starred alongside each other, the first being in The Duchess (2008).




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in Events / 20.05.2019

Prorom secures the rights for Operation Mincemeat in Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Hungary

Operation Mincemeat, a buzzy World War II drama that stars Colin Firth, has sold out international territories at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Warner Bros. has picked up several key markets, as has Central and Eastern European distributor Prorom.

The film reunites Firth with John Madden, his Shakespeare in Love director. FilmNation Entertainment and Cross City Films were overseeing sales of the picture.

The See Saw Films and Cohen Media Group production boasts a script by Michelle Ashford (The Pacific, John Adams) and adapts a Ben Macintyre book of the same name. The movie will go into pre-production later this year.

“We are delighted that Operation Mincemeat has captured the imagination of distributors all over the world at Cannes,” said See-Saw Films co-managing directors Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, and Cohen Media Group chief Charles Cohen in a statement.

“FilmNation have been incredibly passionate about the combination of director John Madden, Michelle Ashford’s script and the cast we are assembling on this project. We are thrilled that so many great companies share their enthusiasm.”

The story unfolds in 1943, as the Allies prepare to launch an all-out assault on Nazi-dominated Europe. Two intelligence officers, Ewen Montagu (Firth) and Charles Cholmondeley, concoct a disinformation strategy, aimed at preventing their massive invasion force from being massacred by German soldiers and planes when they touch down on the continent.

Warner Bros. bought France, Germany, Italy, Benelux, Spain, and the U.K. Prorom has Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary.

Source: Variety




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in Interviews / 17.05.2019

Interview with Elodie Fontan: “I've been a fan of Nicky Larson since I was little”

Élodie Fontan was born on July 9, 1987 in Bondy, Seine-Saint-Denis, France. She is an actress who appeared in more than fifteen television and film productions since 1996.

Élodie Fontan started very young in French commercials for Nissan, Quick and Euro Disney. She gained notoriety in 2009 by playing Alyzée, Clem's best friend, in the Clem series, broadcast on TF1.

Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon (Nicky Larson and Cupid's Perfume) is a name of the latest French action comedy directed by Philippe Lacheau in wich Élodie Fontan appears alongside Philippe Lacheau, Tarek Boudali, Julien Arruti and Pamela Anderson.

It is an adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime series City Hunter (known as Nicky Larson in France) by Tsukasa Hojo.

Nicky Larson is the best bodyguard, an outstanding private investigator. He is called for a high-risk mission: to recover the Perfume of Cupid, a perfume that would make irresistible the one who uses it.

This weekend, in Romania, Prorom and Ro Image will release the comedy Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon, and we invite you to read an interview with the leading actress Élodie Fontan.

How did you feel when Philippe Lacheau came up with the idea of making a movie about Nicky Larson?
I remember that moment: I was on the train in a promotional tour for Babysitting 2. Like the boys, I've been a fan of Nicky Larson since I was little, and this idea seemed great to me, though none of us had any idea if we could get the rights. Especially because I did not know if I would have a role in the movie or not…

How did you imagine Laura?
I had a strong attachment to this character. The challenge was to make her realistic - which is not always easy with the manga characters, because of their gestures, while preserving the characteristics of his character. Laura is an impulsive girl, she has a very tough face, but at the same time she's very protective with Nicky, she's taking care of him. So she is very calm and she manages a lot of things, but she can also be crazy. Finally, it was nice to interpret all these different emotions. Besides, this is the first time I played such a character, and it was very dear to me.

Did you made some researched for this character?
Before I started the project, I rewatched most of the animated episodes and I never missed Laura's look: on stage, during lunch breaks or makeup. I was happy to go back to an episode every time to find the right tone or mimic of my character.


What instructions did Philippe Lacheau give you?
He wanted Laura to be faithful to the manga series, but to adapt her to me, so that she would remain credible. Because people who do not know Nicky Larson's world to appreciate it and understand her, she does not have to be too crazy. And Philippe and I made sure she never became annoying.

What she "borrowed" from you?
I gave her some gentleness. I wanted her to be very loving and very protective with Nicky, probably more than in the animated series. Actually, I think I softened her and made her more balanced.

Did you like the idea that she would bring emotion to the movie?
What I liked above all was to have a character in my hands that allowed me to use my all acting skills. Through her I could go from comedy to drama or anger, and that's a gift for an actor. I remember when I read the script, the scene where Laura understands that Nicky is sacrificing for her touched me a lot, and I can hardly wait to play it. But seeing it, I think it's actually a beautiful sequence that brings a lot of emotions and a different tone. The film is very rich, there is action, comedy, laughter, emotions, and that's also the memory I keep from the cartoon.

How did you prepare for action scenes?
I've been boxing for a long time, and I have always dreamed that this discipline would serve me in cinematography one day. That's why, when the guys wrote the script, I suggested that they include battle sequences with Laura.

Did it take long before you found Laura's look?
No, it was pretty fast, it came naturally. The costume designers knew Nicky Larson's world very well, and we had the same ideas for Laura's character. We wanted to be as loyal as possible, giving her a touch of modernity. The capillary part was a little more delicate, it was necessary to find the right color, the good haircut, which was far from me! I knew hair was important for the character, but I think the bet was a winning one, since I was asked during the promotion tour if I really cut my hair…


This duo with Philippe has brought you closer to him?
Surely. We worked long before the shooting and I knew exactly the direction we wanted to take. Nicky Larson is the third collaboration between us, and from one movie to another, we are naturally more "closer" on the screen. The other actors were the same: we are all very close, we see each other a lot outside the set and the more we work together, the more the automatisms are triggered. But Philippe is quite efficient because he knows what he wants, how to pass on his ideas and how to take us where he wants.

What is the most beautiful memory from the shooting of the movie?
The scene in the factory where there is a general fight will be memorable. Very strict shooting times put us under great pressure, because we could not overcome them, and the filming program was so busy that sometimes wondered how we could shoot all the sequences in a single day. So we were a little tense, especially Philippe, but it's a beautiful sequence, worthy of an American action movie!

What was your reaction when you saw the movie?
I was very proud, because I can say that so far this is my best role and my best film. The bet was not obvious from the start, but it proved to be a success. Besides, I was amazed by the music, extremely well chosen, by the direction, by the editing ... Regarding the actors, we were all very happy to make this movie and I think that's is something that you see on the screen.

Interview by Clara Géliot.




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in Hollywood / 15.05.2019

Gunpowder Milkshake: Full cast revealed

StudioCanal is proud to present the explosive cast and crew of Gunpowder Milkshake, the action thriller that will hit theaters in 2020.

Explosive action and bold humour collide in this crowd-pleasing and fiercely entertaining high-octane thriller that will reinvent the female assassin genre.

StudioCanal is thrilled to announce that Angela Bassett, Michelle Yeoh and Paul Giamatti will be joining Karen Gillan and Lena Headey in Gunpowder Milkshake - an explosive cocktail that will blow your mind!

From acclaimed director Navot Papushado and the Producers of Non Stop and The Commuter.

The first-class crew includes Director of Photography Michael Seresin (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes), Costume Designer Luise Frogley (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Lucy in the Sky), and Production Designer David Scheunemann (Fast & Furious presents Hobbs and Shaw, Deadpool 2, Atomic Blonde).

Prorom has acquired the rights for Gunpowder Milkshake in the following territories: Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Slovenia.




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in Interviews / 13.05.2019

Interview with actor and director Philippe Lacheau: “Nicky Larson was one of my favorite animated series”

Philippe Lacheau was born on June 25, 1980 in Fontenay-sous-Bois, Val-de-Marne, France. He is an actor, writer and director, known for Babysitting (2014), Babysitting 2 (2015) and Alibi.com (2017).

Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon (Nicky Larson and Cupid's Perfume) is a name of the latest French action comedy directed by Philippe Lacheau who also co-wrote the screenplay with Julien Arruti and Pierre Lacheau.

It is an adaptation of the Japanese manga and anime series City Hunter (known as Nicky Larson in France) by Tsukasa Hojo.

The film features Philippe Lacheau, Élodie Fontan, Tarek Boudali and Julien Arruti in lead roles, along with Didier Bourdon, Kamel Guenfoud, Sophie Mousel, Hélène Lamberti and Pamela Anderson in supporting roles.

Nicky Larson is the best bodyguard, an outstanding private investigator. He is called for a high-risk mission: to recover the Perfume of Cupid, a perfume that would make irresistible the one who uses it.

This weekend, in Romania, Prorom and Ro Image will release the comedy Nicky Larson et le Parfum de Cupidon and we invite you to read an interview with the actor and director Philippe Lacheau.

How did you come up with the idea of adapting Nicky Larson for the cinema?
I belong to the club generation Club Dorothée and Nicky Larson, who landed on French television in the 90s, was one of my favorite animated series because it was a real comedy. There was also action, police investigations, love stories, but it was especially funny. Nicky, beyond making me laugh, is the best in everything he undertakes: it's both a detective, a bodyguard, a lovelace... the James Bond of comedy in short. Unconsciously, it was therefore a kid's dream to embody the hero of my childhood in the cinema.

Have you acquired the rights easily?
Not at all! It was a very long process. We got some help from Stephane Huard, CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment France, who through their American and Japanese studio affiliates has allowed us to meet manga creator Tsukasa Hojo. Prior to granting our rights, the Japanese author asked for a right to read the script. After eighteen months of writing, I went to meet him, with my manuscript under my arm, full of fears. After 48 hours, the verdict came: he liked it! I was very happy because he found that the script was loyal to his manga creations, and he made the most beautiful compliment I could ever get from him -- that he would have himself invented this original story.


How was the writing process?
In order to perfectly absorb the universe of Nicky Larson, Julien Arruti, my brother, Pierre Lacheau, Pierre Dudan and myself (the same team from Babysitting) we analyzed 144 episodes of the animated series that were broadcast in France and reread 37 numbers of manga. But I also saw the various adaptations that have been made abroad, including a Chinese movie with Jackie Chan. It was important to see everything to refresh our memories, we had to recover the tone to write. The most important thing was to keep the universe and the characters.
So I found the idea of a quest around Cupid's perfume, a perfume that has the power to make you irresistible. But the real challenge was to attract all the new generation that follows us from Babysitting, but who does not know Nicky Larson. This required a lot of rewriting.

Why is this movie a very personal one?
He sends me back to my childhood. Maybe that's why this is the movie that I'm the most proud of, because everything that comes to this moment of my life is sacred. I was fortunate enough to enjoy the moments when Dorothee (the one who made the Club Dorothee show in France in the '90s) was on our movie set, and I watched her with a child's eyes, reminding me of the show we enjoyed in our youth. It was as if I had met a friend I had not seen for many years. Moreover, it is personal because it brings together my friends, my parents, who appear in the movie, and the names of the characters are sometimes borrowed from relatives.

How did you prepare to become Nicky Larson?
I was so motivated that I exercise for eight months with diets and training, and  I put 8 kg of muscle. In parallel, I worked diligently for choreography of the action scenes, I learned how to shoot with a Magnum gun, machine guns and other heavy weapons, then I dyed my hair. I remember the day the costume handed me Nicky's outfit: seeing me in his blue coat, his red shirt and his black pants made me feel very excited.

Was it from the beginning the idea to work with the same team again?
This is a question I cannot answer. It was an incredible opportunity to work with my friends and, as long as the public follows us, we will continue. This is an incredible luxury and it's great to see that from one movie to another some actors such as Didier Bourdon, Chantal Ladesou and Gérard Jugnot follow us and the “band” grows.

Newcomers immediately joined Nicky Larson's world?
It was interesting because, unlike some "special guests" like Audrey Lamy, Raphaël Personnaz or Jarry, who knew the animated series, the others had not heard of him. But they immediately found him funny, and they followed me with the same enthusiasm. It is fortunate that all these actors have joined us for one or two days because the scenes in which they appear have a size much higher than the scenario indicated. For them it may not have been a lot, but to me it was a lot.

Did you direct your actors as in your other movies?
With my friends I did not change my way of doing things. But I was very afraid, for example, to give directorial directions to Pamela Anderson! When we created the character, we thought it would be great to have her in the movie, because like Nicky Larson, it was a representative image of the 1990s. It was a real surprise that he accepted! And suddenly I woke up under pressure: I speak English very badly, and I did not know how to direct an American star on a shooting set. Would she do all I ask? Would she have extravagant demands? Does he ask for anything in return? Soon I got answers to my questions because the meeting was great! He did not refuse anything, because he was amused to play with his glamorous image.

Where did you shoot?
A little in the South, a little in the Paris region. The original manga is happening in Tokyo, but the filming would have been too expensive and it would have been strange, because the characters speak all French. So we decided to move it to us, but without marking the place. Like Gotham City in Batman, Nicky lives in a city that does not exist, and cannot be located. We filmed in Paris in La Defense, Beaugrenelle, but we added 3D buildings, and we removed the Eiffel Tower from some pictures... The only place mentioned is Monaco.

What were your sources of inspiration?
In the pure comedy, I have a true French culture, because my models have always been Francis Veber - my absolute master - Alain Chabat, Les Nuls, Les Inconnus and Le Splendid.
Among the French comedies of recent years, the series of Taxi movies were probably the most successful. But let's not forget Belmondo, including Le Magnifique, by Philippe de Broca. But this time I have to confess that I was more inspired by the American comedies, because they are very bold. The first time that I saw There’s Something About Mary, by the Farrelly Brothers, was a real shock. And I grew up with American Pie, these genres of movies that pushed the limits! This is an example for me.


The budget was important. Did you have any extra pressure?
When we pictured such a movie, we were scared at first. But to be credible, it was necessary to have money. I did not have the means for a Mission: Impossible kind of movie, but when the idea is to make a James Bond with accent on comedy, the bar is up. That's why we wanted the budget to be appropriate. So we used the best professionals, technicians who worked with Luc Besson and who did a great job in scenes that needed explosions, chasings and very realistic fights.

In the end, the movie is like you want it to be?
I am very happy, yes, because my purpose was to make the most funny movie and to mix it with action and feelings. And, thanks to my great editor, I have the feeling that I have succeeded.

Interview by Clara Géliot.




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in Events / 10.05.2019

One Nation, One King opened the French Film Festival in the presence of director Pierre Schoeller

The film One Nation, One King / Un Peuple et son Roi (directed by Pierre Schoeller) opened the French Film Festival on May 8 in Bucharest, in the presence of the director. The next day, Schoeller met with the audience in Cluj.

One Nation One King presents the intertwining fates of the historical figures, the men and the women of the 1789 French revolution. Their place of meeting is a newly formed National Assembly, where they have to decide what will be the fate of King Louis XVI and how to build the Republic... Freedom has a history!

At the XXIIIth edition, the French Film Festival in Romania takes place from 8 to 19 May, being organized this year for the first time in 13 cities with 146 screenings.

The screenings will take place in Bucureşti (May 8 – 16), Cluj (May 9 – 12), Timişoara (May 9 – 13), Iaşi (May 11 – 14), Arad (May 9 – 11), Braşov (May 9 – 11), Brăila (May 10 – 12), Buzău (May 9 – 10), Constanţa (May 16 – 19), Piteşti (May 16 – 19), Sfântu Gheorghe (May 16 – 19), Sinaia (May 16 – 19) and Suceava (May 10 – 11).

The audience is invited to discover a selection of 23 films, structured around the four sections: Competition of Young Directors, Panorama of French Films of the Year, Cahiers du Cinema Week and Retrospective Week.

Photo: The director Pierre Schoeller and the romanian film critic Irina Margareta Nistor at the opening of the French Film Festival in Romania. (Source of images: Facebook Cinema Elvire Popesco).