Paris-based Playtime has unveiled a strong Cannes film market sales slate, which includes competition titles “About Dry Grasses” and “Homecoming.”
“About Dry Grasses” is by Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan, who won the Palme d’Or in 2014 for “Winter Sleep.” The film follows Samet, a young art teacher, who is finishing his fourth year of compulsory service in a remote village in Anatolia. After a turn of events he can hardly make sense of, he loses his hopes of escaping the grim life he seems to be stuck in, and hopes that his encounter with fellow teacher Nuray will help him overcome his angst. Deniz Celiloğlu, Merve Dizdar and Musab Ekici are among the cast.
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“Homecoming,” by French director Catherine Corsini who won the 2021 Queer Palm for “The Divide,” follows Khédidja, who minds a wealthy Parisian family’s children for a summer in Corsica. She brings along her own two teenage daughters for whom it is an opportunity for them to go back to the island they left 15 years earlier, in tragic circumstances. While their mother grapples with her memories, the two girls indulge in all the summer temptations but questions surface about the family’s distant past on the island. The cast includes Virginie Ledoyen, Denis Podalydès, Aïssatou Diallo Sagna, Esther Gohourou, Suzy Bemba, Lomane de Dietrich, Cédric Appietto, Jean Michelangeli and Marie-Ange Geronimi.
The film was in the news recently after alleged inappropriate incidents during production of the film were refuted by Corsini and her producer Elisabeth Perez.
The past also rears its head in Erwan De Luc’s “No Love Lost,” which closes Cannes Critics’ Week, where a woman resurfaces after 16 years, sending the family into turmoil. The cast features Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Maud Wyler, Céleste Brunnquell, Alexandre Steiger, Camille Rutherford and Mercedes Dassy.
Robin Campillo, who won multiple awards at Cannes 2017 with “120 BPM,” is back with 1970s, Madagascar-set coming-of-age tale “Red Island,” which will play as a market screening ahead of its French release by Memento Distribution. Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Quim Gutiérrez, Charlie Vauselle, Luna Carpiaux and David Serero are in the cast.
In addition, Playtime has newly acquired comedy “Testament” by Denys Arcand (2003 Oscar winner for “The Barbarian Invasions”), starring Rémy Girard and Sophie Lorain; Olivier Py’s period drama “Molière’s Last Stage,” with Laurent Lafitte, Stacy Martin and Bertrand de Roffignac, distributed in France by Memento; and Pierre Godeau’s drama “Headwind,” starring François Damiens and Salomé Dewaels, where a famous actor who, after agreeing to play the impossible character of Jacques Brel, realizes that it might be the last role of his life and leaves to see his daughter, whom he has not seen grow up.
Playtime is also representing two films by young French women directors. “Through the Night,” Delphine Girard’s first feature film, based on her Oscar-nominated short film, “A Sister,” deals with an assault at a party and its aftermath. The cast includes Selma Alaoui, Veerle Baetens, Guillaume Duhesme and Anne Dorval.
In Céline Rouzet’s “For Night Will Come,” the day they move into a new neighborhood, the Feral family plan to look as normal and friendly as possible. But when their teenaged son Philemon gets closer to his new neighbor, Camila, his thirst for blood grows and his difference becomes impossible to hide. The cast includes Elodie Bouchez, Jean-Charles Clichet, Mathias Legout Hammond and Céleste Brunnquell.
The Playtime slate also includes arthouse horror “The Devil’s Bath,” by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz (“Goodnight Mommy,” “The Lodge”), based on an unknown chapter of European history and is about women, religion and ritual murders; documentary “Antarctica Calling” by Luc Jacquet, director of the Oscar-winning “March of the Penguins”; Caroline Vignal’s comedy “It’s Raining Men,” starring Laure Calamy and Vincent Elbaz; and Fernando Coimbra’s noir “Carnaval Is Over,” featuring Leandra Leal, Pêpê Rapazote and Irandhir Santos.
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