Lucien Jean-Baptiste’s name may not very familiar to audiences on this side of the Atlantic; although long-time readers of Shadow and Act may remember his name or face, as we’ve covered some of his work on this blog over the years, as a writer, director and actor. He’s been in the business since around 1999, although he hasn’t appeared in any films or TV shows made for the USA. They’re all local to France, so our France-based readers will be more likely familiar.
Jean Baptiste, who typically writes, directs and stars in his own films, is doing the same with an upcoming comedy-drama titled “He Even Has Your Eyes” (“Il a déjà tes yeux”), which co-stars an actress that should be more familiar to you in Aïssa Maïga.
Synopsis reads: In their mid-30s, Paul (French of Martinican descent) and Sali (French of Senegalese descent) are happily married and the proud new owners of their own florist’s store. The only cloud on their horizon is the long wait to adopt a child. Sali’s Senegalese parents, Mamita and Ousmane, even have a name ready for their future grandson: Lamine. Just when the couple have given up hope, the adoption agency calls with good news: despite the curious opposition of the infant’s case worker, Mrs. Millet, they have a baby boy for Paul and Sali! Their best friends, legal eagle Prune and stoner Manu, rally to make sure the house is ready, so the adoption will be approved. Paul and Sali’s new baby is six months old, he’s beautiful, he’s called Benjamin, he has lovely blue eyes… And he’s white!
You can probably imagine the dramedy that follows…
Zabou Breitman, Vincent Elbaz, Michel Jonasz, and Naidra Ayadi round out the key cast.
Production is by Maxime Delauney, and Romain Rousseau (of Nolita Cinema).
The film is currently being shopped to distributors at the Cannes Film Market (Marche du Film), repped by TF1 International sales. The company’s chief, Sabine Chemaly, said this about the film: “It’s a heartwarming tale… director Lucien Jean-Baptiste, who also stars, is himself of Martinique origin. He approaches the story from the inside.”
Not much to look at yet (no trailer), except for the above images.