Robert Pattinson in “Cosmopolis”, David Cronenberg (screen capture) and Houda benyamina l (© Vincent Ferrané for Les Inrockuptibles)
After a dazzling passage in Cannes, where it won the Camera d’or, Houda benyamina l came last week in the United States to defend the colours of his teen movie rebellious, Divine. Invited by the Festival of the American Film Institute (AFI), a stronghold of the industry and antechamber of the Oscars, which takes place each fall in Los Angeles, the filmmaker of French has largely dominated the list, leaving with both the public prize and the jury’s special mention for the actress Oulaya Amamra.
Upon the closing of the Festival, Friday 18 November, the film was broadcast to all subscribers american platform Netflix, which bought the operating rights in the world, in favour of a huge commercial operation up here new to French cinema. A digital output ambitious, even vitiated by a slight quack technique (Netflix have programmed by mistake the film in France, in defiance of the chronology of the media), should offer to the Divine the highest visibility in the United States, while the local critics revved up almost unanimously for this “coming-of-age story”…
She met James Franco and Robert Pattinson
But Houda benyamina l, that is still unknown radar eight months ago, was not coming to Los Angeles to ensure only the after-sales service of his film. Now represented by an american agent, she has also begun actively preparing his next feature film, which she told us the first details. It will be a movie in costume, located in a period of war, and that will tell a love story “lyrical and burning” between a French and a young american. In order to embody the latter, the director of the 36-year-old has already met with several actors, including James Franco and Robert Pattinson, who had expressed their interest in the project. “The casting in advance, but it is still at the stage of meetings, discussions”, says Houda benyamina l, who says he wants to stay true to his methods of shooting guerrilla-intense and proven on the Divine.
This is not the first time that the two actors who are approached to express their desire for the French cinema. James Franco publishes regular reviews rave about the French productions to the website IndieWire (he had called Mustang “the best film of the year 2015”), while Robert Pattinson is already involved in two projects expected to feature films in French (theHigh Life of Claire Denis, whose filming should start, unless unforeseen next spring, and Idol”s Eyes of Olivier Assayas, for the moment suspended due to lack of funding). Waiting for his casting to be precise, the new film Houda benyamina l, produced by the French company at the origin of Divine, Easy Tiger, will gradually reveal its ambitious promises current 2017.