The production of “BigBug” was officially announced

The production of BigBug was officially announced in Paris on the 17th of January, by Reed Hastings, the creator of Netflix, which will finance the project. The film will be produced by ESKWAD and yours truly, and will be part of a collection of European films, one per country, filmed in the country’s language.

My entire team is on the warpath: decoration, sound, images, costumes, editing etc. The cast will be made up of Claire Chust, Elsa Zilberstein, Alban Lenoir, Manu Payet, Isabelle Nanty, Youssef Hajdi, Claude Perron, François Levantal, and two teenagers: Marysol Fertard and Helie Thonnat.

It’s a science fiction comedy, in a closed setting, with humans, androids and mechanical robots.

During this project I experienced (all modesty aside) the same thing as Scorsese with The Irishman. I have been toting this script around in France for 4 years, and it has been rejected by all (as were Delicatessen and Amelie in their time). And like Amelie, Brigitte Maccioni of UGC fell in love with it and wanted to produce it. But she wasn’t able to because, obviously, a French comedy with robots doesn’t fit in a nice, tidy box.

And then one day David Kosse from Netflix wrote to me from London asking me if I might have a project…
A resounding “yes” with a big smile came back just 24 hours later!

Since then we have been living a dream. Enthusiastic teams, total freedom, sufficient budget. The fact that BigBug will not be released in theaters is not a problem, because unlike, for example TS Spivet, which was shot in 3D in wide-open American spaces, it is particularly suitable for small screens and TV. And I must admit that the idea of not having to face a cinema release, with the box-office figures coming in, cleaver-like, at 10 in the morning, is rather a relief. Knowing that 138 million subscribers will be able to see the film is extremely exciting!

No, these new platforms are not going to kill cinema, because technologies accumulate and complement each other, they don’t replace each other. After all, cinema has never killed the theater, and there are still black and white films being made…

Filming begins April 27, for a release in March 2021.

And then, 2 other feature film projects which are seemingly of interest to producers: a series, and for Amelie’s 20 year anniversary, a fake documentary that will be completely crazy and hilarious!

A short film for the Gaillanne Foundation

The Frédéric Gaillanne Foundation, in Isle sur la Sorgue in Provence, France, is the only organisation in France to provide guide dogs for blind children. They do an absolutely remarkable job. I made a short film for the foundation (who I sponsor) explaining how they work. They need funds in order to double their capacity to be able to offer twenty dogs per year instead of ten. This ‘amateur’ film was made by a mini-team of professionals, and everyone in the film is part of the foundation, or are real host families for the dogs. Young Anaïs is really blind and handled her role as a true professional, accompanied by her own dog “Mozart”.
A special thank you to Mathieu Kassovitz, who ventured out on his scooter in the rain to bail us out. If you would consider making a small contribution this Christmas, it would be welcome. And don’t hesitate to share this little film with all your friends…

https://www.fondationfg.org

Looop

Marc Caro, produced by Tapioca Films, directed Looop, an extremely experimental and personal short film… a mix of animation in real settings. For the moment on Canal Plus, and in April on the net…

Bruno Delbonnel wins the Angenieux award

Bruno (Amelie, A Very Long Engagement), 5 time Oscar nominee, lauded time and again, who has worked with Sokurov, the Coen brothers, Joe Wright, a certain Harry Potter, Tim Burton, etc, received the notable Angénieux Award at the Cannes Film Festival, from the prestigious brand of zooms, famous for their excellence. What is lesser known, is that Bruno also wrote a “Pros and Cons” on my short film Foutaises.

Tribute to the Los Angeles Cinematheque

Amelie was shown to a packed house of 600 spectators, followed by a heated question and answer session… A very “Amelian” fan: 🤣

At the screening, in a dark corridor, I had the misfortune of doing an interview for a small Mexican site. I said, “It would be difficult to film Amélie in Paris today, because the city is disfigured by so much construction work. Few of the places filmed in Amélie would be usable today”… What was I thinking? Our Holy Mayor shouted with terror. “Not at all, there are plenty of films being shot in Paris every day.” … Of course one can always find a free street, even if it is ugly.

Then a screening of Delicatessen, and The City of Lost Children, in the presence of Pitof, who was responsible for the digital effects, which were revolutionary at the time, and Ron Perlman, in the role of One …

Another screening, that of Alien Resurrection, at the USC School of Cinematic Arts… where a fantastic exhibition was held for the 40-year anniversary of Alien. Screening in 35mm, in the presence of (from left to right), Matthiew Gratzner, responsible for the models (it was before digital), Pitof again, who in addition to the special effects led the second team, Mézigue, Alec Gillis, who, with Tom Woodruff, made the Aliens, the eggs, the facehugger etc… Ian Hunter, another “modelmaker” (an endangered profession), Raymond Cruz, who played Di Stephano, and John Frizzell the musician… In short the AAA… (The Ancient Alien Association)…