Shadow & Act | Tambay Obenson

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun-ASIF

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad’s foremost filmmaker, whose latest film – the documentary “Hissein Habre, A Chadian Tragedy” – premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May of this year, and, before that, the feature drama “Grigris” competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2013, is set to direct his next film – a dramatic feature titled “A Season in France.”

Eriq Ebouaney and Sandrine Bonnaire are attached to star in the film which is described as an “asylum seeker love story.” Ebouaney (who most will likely remember playing the lead in Raoul Peck’s “Lumumba”) will star in “A Season in France” as an asylum seeker in France – a teacher from the Central African Republic who happens to be a widower with 2 young children. While waiting a decision on his application, he works in a food market in Paris to support himself and his kids where he meets a white French woman (played by Bonnaire) who eventually falls in love with him and offers him and his family a home.

Naturally, drama ensues.

The film is being produced by Florence Stern of Pili Films, and French sales company MK2 Films have come on board to represent “A Season in France” globally, according to a Screen Daily report this afternoon.

Sandrine Bonnaire

Sandrine Bonnaire

With financing in place, the film is set to film in Paris this October – marking the first time that Haroun has shot a feature film in France.

“A Season in France fits perfectly with our auteur-focused line-up which now features a refreshing mix of established directors and newcomers,” said MK2 Films sales and acquisition head Juliette Schrameck.

The company also recently boarded another feature film profiled on this blog – Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido and Modi Barry’s feature film directorial debut, “Chateau.” That deal was announced at the Cannes Film Market 2 months ago. To be filmed in Paris’ Chateau d’Eau – a neighborhood where many Africans live – the film will “recount the trials and tribulations of a group of hair salon hustlers whose fast talk and tall tales see them accidentally entwined in the district’s best kept sentimental secret.”

I’m certainly looking forward to both of these new films from Haroun, Ido and Barry.

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