First, the usual recap of the series (feel free to skip ahead, if you'll already read it)… As I noted in an entry towards the end of last year, 2013 should be an interesting year for black cinema (at the studio level, indie, and across the disapora). Looking down my continuously-growing list of black films scheduled for release (theatrical, TV, or home video), as well as those that will debut on the film festival circuit this year, it's quite long, and, as noted, is still growing.
In fact, I'd say that we might find ourselves in one of those rare years, when there's a fuller than usual slate of studio-backed black films, to complement the indies – an indie slate that, given what we know so far, should be strong – and foreign (to the USA) titles from Africa, Europe, South America, Canada, etc.
As I usually do at the start of every year, I take a long, hard look at everything we should look forward to for the year; but given how lengthy my list is, and the fact that it continues to grow the more research I do, I'm taking a different approach this year.
Instead of compiling a single list into one lengthy post, I'm going to highlight each film individually, 1 per day, until I've listed them all. No worries, there won't be 365 titles; I'm still going to be somewhat selective in deciding which titles to highlight. But not too strict, so as to include as many as possible. We'll just see how it goes, and take it a day at a time, as the database is built.
To see all the films that make up the database (at least those that have been profiled thus far) just click on the "2013 Black Cinema Database" tag at the bottom of this post).
Entry #7 is a film that I thought would debut last year, but didn't, and is likely on its way to an international film festival premiere during the first half of this year – I'm thinking the Cannes Film Festival, where his acclaimed feature film debut Donoma, also made its premiere in 2010.
Haitian & France-based filmmaker Djinn Carrénard's sophomore effort, Faire l’amour (or Making Love), will star the director, alongside Emma Nicolai and Laurette Lalande, from a screenplay he wrote.
First a quick recap… Synopsis for Faire l'amour reads:
Oussmane is a musician losing his hearing in a loveless relationship with Laure, an air hostess desperately trying to get pregnant. Kahina is a young woman doing time in a prison somewhere in Ile de France who gets leave for a week to spend Christmas with her four-year-old daughter. Oussmane and Kahina will fall in love during this week on leave, clinging on to each other with the passion of their instinct to survive. Kahina can’t see her daughter, Kahina falls in love, Kahina has to return to prison.
Djinn's first film, the aforementioned Donoma, was reportedly made for a few hundred dollars; we saw it, and we were enthralled by it! As Ms Williams said in her review of it on this site in mid-April last year, "Donoma feels like discovering a delightful show on Netflix and watching the whole season in an afternoon. When it's done, you're hungry for more and disappointed that there's nothing left to devour."
And she also added, "hopefully, the director will give us more deliciousness to taste soon."
And he'll be doing just that with Faire l’amour (Making Love), a project that's budgeted at €2.7 million, or about $3.5 million! Talk about a jump (from a few hundred dollars for his first film, to a few million for his second)! I'm sure he's pleased. Let's see how that affects the end product.
The film began production in the spring of last year, with shooting expected to take about nine weeks in Paris, so we can only assume it's complete by now, or close to completion.
Carrénard actually wrote Faire L'Amour before he made Donoma, and says that it'll explore similar themes as that first film, which revolved around the dynamics of several, interconnected Paris couples.
“I wrote Faire L’Amour before shooting Donoma. Having focused on one couple in a very particular situation I wanted to explore lots of different couples in a freer way and that was how Donoma was born,” he said.
And also like Donoma, Faire L’Amour's cast will comprise of mostly amateur, first-time actors, which Carrénard is selected from acting workshops he conducted earlier last year.
I'm definitely curious about Faire L'Amour. I get the feeling that Monsieur Carrénard is a talented one to definitely watch, at 31 years old.
Finally, courtesy of ScreenDaily, I think you'd appreciate this paragraph on his producing, marketing and distributing Donoma. Talk about a ground effort.
Shot in 2009 on a micro-budget with a borrowed Sony camcorder and basic wireless microphones to record the dialogue, Donoma premiered in Cannes in 2010 as part of the Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema (ACID) sidebar. There, it received a handful of festival invites and was circled by the likes of EuropaCorp, Jour2Fête and Epicentre but a distribution failed to materialise. Frustrated by the film’s lack of visibility, Carrénard decided to release the film under his own steam with the support of Commune Image Média – a production hub on the outskirts of Paris home to 20 independent companies – and key members of the cast including Salomé Blechmans, Emilia Derou Bernal and Sékouba Doucouré. Together they organised a series of “happenings”, including a packed 2,800-person screening of the picture at the iconic Art Deco Grand Rex Cinema in central Paris. “There were ten of us on the team and we were charged with each contacting 50 people a day to sell tickets. In the evening we would hand out flyers,” says Blechmans, one of Carrénard’s closest collaborators. “24 hours before the screening we had only sold about 1,000 tickets but a lot of people turned up on the night.” The filmmaker and crew then took the film on tour across France in a bus emblazoned with the Donoma Guerrilla Tour logo, stopping off in some 20 towns, announcing their arrival circus style with loud speakers and flyers. Faire L’Amour, which will be distributed by Pathé, is likely to get a very different release from Donoma. “I wonder how I’m going to feel about handing it over to someone else after our experiences on Donoma,” says Carrénard, somewhat wistfully.
Gotta love the spirit and hustle of this kid…
With 10,000 times the budget of Donoma, I'm looking forward to seeing what he's done with Faire L'Amour, which he's been very quiet on; at least, I haven't heard, nor seen a single update on it since last summer.