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NEWS                                                                                                  Sunday 19 May 2019
                                                                                                                                   DAY 6

                                                CANNES Q&A:

                                                HOLLY LEVOW

                                                AND PAUL KAMPF

                                                PRODUCER AND DIRECTOR, IMPRISONED

                                              © PATHÉ  This is Equitas Entertainment’s first   community involvement in the making of
                                                experience at Marché du Film. What
                      The Merciless by Byun Sung-hyun                          the film. With the release of the film, we are
                                                do you hope to achieve?        partnering with the nonprofit organisation,
                CJ, PATHÉ                       We want to introduce our company and   PeaceLove, to bring awareness to their work    Holly Levow  © DR
                AND VENDÔME                     our unique mission and impact-driven   and will also be donating a portion of ticket
                                                approach to filmmaking at the Marché and
                                                                               sales to bring more mental-health art
                TEAM FOR                        build relationships with others in line with   therapy sessions to incarcerated men and
                                                our vision. We are proving that it’s possible
                                                                               women across the globe.
                ENGLISH                         to have high-quality films that are both
                VERSION OF                      socially responsible and financially   The film stars American actor
                                                successful and we hope others will mimic
                                                                               Laurence Fishburne, and a strong
                THE MERCILESS                   this approach as well.         international Latin cast — how did
                                                                               you convince Fishburne to play a
                CJ ENTERTAINMENT, Pathé Films and   The company is focused on having a   morally suspect prison warden and
                Vendôme Group have joined forces to   positive social impact — how was   how did you go about casting the
                produce an English-language remake of   that achieved with the film   film?
                South Korean box office hit The Merciless,   Imprisoned and how do you hope   Laurence strongly responded to the
                which was directed by Byun Sung-hyun   to achieve it in future films?   material, first and foremost. He loved the
                and starred Sol Kyung-gu and Im Si-wan.   We achieved this in many ways. Here are a   duality of Warden Calvin and felt that
                CJ Entertainment produced and   few key points. We committed to paying   there were very few characters in films    Paul Kampf  © DR
                distributed the original 2017 crime   our female lead equal to her male   allowed to have such a complex duality.
                thriller that redefined a genre.   counterpart, regardless of the financial   We worked with casting director, Carla   delivered a dynamic and authentic
                The film follows Jae-Ho, a prisoner who   impact on the budget. It was important for   Hool to find the most culturally and   performance.
                holds power over his fellow inmates. On   us to promote female and minority heads   creatively accurate lead cast members.
                the outside he is second-in-command of a   of departments whenever possible to   She was able to place the script in the   What are release plans for North
                criminal gang, and is determined to take   diversify the whole filmmaking process. We   hands of amazing actors who responded   America?
                over the top spot when he is released.   worked closely with the formerly   very strongly. As we cast locally, we looked   We will be releasing theatrically in Puerto
                The Merciless was shown out of   incarcerated to provide them opportunities   to find an authenticity to match the rest   Rico, where we shot the entire film. From
                competition in the Midnight Screenings   in front of the camera. We also left a   of our cast. In doing so, we were able   there, we will move across the US in select
                at the 70th Cannes Film and emerged as   positive footprint in every town and   to offer a supporting role to a formerly   cities, and grow our release pattern as the
                one of the hottest titles of, selling to   location where the film was shot, by   incarcerated individual who took   film and our mission gains attention. ✦
                distributors in over 117 countries.   working with the local businesses to ensure   on this challenge as a first time actor and      Liza Foreman
                The English-language remake is being
                developed by CJ Entertainment, Pathé
                Films and Vendôme. The film is
                co-financed by Pathé and CJ and
                produced by Vendôme’s CEO Philippe
                Rousselet and co-CEO Fabrice Gianfermi;
                Francis Chung, CJ’s head of US
                productions; and Ardavan Safaee.
                JerryõKo, head of international at CJ, is
                executive producer.
                CJ will distribute the film in South Korea
                and is handling sales rights for all Asian
                territories and Turkey. Pathé Films will
                release the movie in France and
                Switzerland and look after all remaining
                international sales on the film.
                The Merciless remake is the second deal
                between Vendôme and Pathé to be
                announced in Cannes this year. Earlier
                this week the two companies announced
                a three-year revolving co-development
                and co-production deal to produce one or   EFP’s Producers on the Move 2019 in Cannes
                two films a year, starting with Coda, an
                English-language remake of the 2014   Hendrik Verthé (left), A Team Productions (Belgium), Julianna Ugrin, Éclipse Film (Hungary), Nina Bisgaard, Meta Film
                French box office hit La Famille Belier,   (Denmark), Grégoire Debailly, Geko Films (France), Jon Nohrstedt, SF Studios (Sweden), Carles Torras, Zabriskie Films (Spain),
                written and directed by Sian Heder   Mila Turajlić, Dribbling Pictures (Serbia), Cormac Fox, Vico Films (Ireland), Inese Boka-Grūbe, Mistrus Media (Latvia), Lilja Ósk
                (Orange is the New Black) which will start   Snorradóttir, Pegasus Pictures (Iceland), João Viana, Papaveronoir (Portugal), Eva Blondiau, Color of May (Germany), Małgorzata
                                                 Staroń, Staron Film (Poland), Joram Willink, BIND (The Netherlands), Nadia Trevisan, Nefertiti Film (Italy), Sereina Gabathuler,
                shooting soon on location in Gloucester,   Dschoint Ventschr (Switzerland), Emily Morgan, Quiddity Films (United Kingdom), Anita Juka, 4Film (Croatia), Dyveke Bjørkly   © KURT KRIEGER/EFP
                Massachusetts. ✦                 Graver, Oslo Pictures (Norway), Rok Biček, Cvinger Film (Slovenia).
                                    Julian Newby

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