- Wow, this is fantastic! It is a great honour to have the film selected to screen in Cannes, also because the film sheds new light on how sexual abuse against women are perceived and understood in Arabic culture, and therefore needs – and deserves – the attention, says Jørgen Lorentzen, one of Beauty and the Dogs’s co-producers, upon receiving the news.
Lorentzen says he expects the film to provoke and surprise the audience, because it has an unexpected twist: -It plays with our prejudice about gender roles in the Arabic culture.
The film follows Myriam, a young student in contemporary Tunisia. After a night out at a night club in Tunis, Myriam gets abused by three policemen. Despite her trauma and the obvious obstacles of prosecuting the police, Myriam is determined to report the case.
Beauty and the Dogs received support from Sørfond in 2015. The film is produced by Habib Attia and his Tunisian company Cinetelefilms, and among the film’s co-producers are the Norwegian company Integralfilm AS, represented by Jørgen and Nefise Özkal Lorentzen.
- Our main motivation for joining the project was to work with Habib Attia and director Kaouther Ben Hania, both talented professionals with a strong social engagement and impressive cinematic vision, says Lorentzen.
- I am so happy that La Familia has been selected to the competition program of Semaine de la Critique. This is a perfect start for the film. I had worked with the film’s producer before, so when she introduced La Familia, and the director Gustavo Rondón, to me in Cannes three years ago I immediately wanted to be a part of it, says Dag Hoel, one of the film’s co-producers a couple of days after receving the news.
- La Familia is a good example of how festivals find talents and nurture their artistic projects. The film is developed at a workshop in Cannes, and the co-production was planned there as well.
The film tells the story of Pedro. A boy who grows up in danger of being recruited by a criminal gang in Caracas. By accident he kills a boy who tries to rob him. From there on the film follows Pedro and his father’s fight for survival. The film shed light on the social issues one often find in larger Latin American cities: dysfunctional families, glorification of violence, youth gangs and poverty. Despite this dramatic backdrop, the film keeps a toned down cinematic language, emphasizing the director’s vision of depicting how Pedro and his father gets to know each other under extreme conditions.
La Familia received support from Sørfond in 2015. The film is produced by La Pandilla Producciones, and among the film’s co-producers are the Norwegian company Dag Hoel Filmproduksjon AS, represented by Dag Hoel.
- Sørfond has become an important tool for producers in Norway to get involved in productions worldwide. Productions that creates nuance and shows other realities then those we face in Norway.
- It’s been a challenge to finish the film, but that is also how It should be with films with much at stake. It is a feature film debut, and has the potential to reach a huge audience. I’m really looking forward for the film to have its Norwegian premiere at Films from the South 2017.
We look forward seeing Beauty and the Dogs and La Familia on the big screen, and wish the films the best of luck competing in Un Certain Regard and Semaine de la Critique in Cannes!