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NEWS                                                                                                 Monday 20 May 2019
                                                                                                                                   DAY 7

                                                CANNES Q&A:

                                                CLAUDE DAL FARRA

                                                PRODUCER, BCDF PICTURES

                                                What does your company do?     important moments of the year for us —
                                                BCDF Pictures is a US-based film and TV   where we sell our films. As we are based in
                                                production company that develops and   America, it’s important for us to keep a
                                                produces movies in the US and overseas.   European sensibility to what we are doing.
                                                Our core interest is in character-driven   Cannes is one of only two major
                                                material, mainly female-centric, with a very   opportunities of the year to meet in Europe
                      Xoxoxo xoxoxoxox
                                                strong focus on book adaptations. Our   and it re-focuses us on the needs of
                                                criteria for a project is that it has to be a   European markets.
                 CINEMA LIBRE                   story that we feel will add something to the                       Claude Dal Farra       © DR
                 WILL LOOK                      world, films that celebrate the human   What other markets do you attend?  creatives and stay current with this fast-
                                                adventure with its humour and passion,
                                                                               In addition to Cannes, we always attend
                 AFTER THE TRUE                 conflict and connection. We started the   Toronto and the AFM.  changing industry.

                                                company 10 years ago. I was working in the
                 STORY OF ALICE                 science field and one day I decided I wanted  What are your plans for this film   How many Cannes have you
                 GUY-BLACHÉ                     to do other things and contribute more to   festival?         attended?
                                                                               We are here selling four films. Can You
                                                                                                              35 years as a resident but for the market the
                                                society. For me had to involve the arts. I
                                                grew up in a family of artists so art was the   Keep a Secret?, adapted from the Sophie   past 10 years. This is my 10-year festival
                 CINEMA Libre has announced in   only way I could think about it. Film is the   Kinsella book, is completed and being   anniversary!
                 Cannes it is handling all foreign   king of the arts. It’s the medium that   sold by Embankment. Our other films
                 sales for Pamela B. Green’s Be   billions can be touched by.  which currently are in pre-production are    Best and worst Cannes films ever?
                 Natural: The Untold Story of Alice                            all literary adaptations as well: The Pecan   Worst film: My mother always says: You
                 Guy-Blaché, which had its world   How important is the Cannes   Man; The Language of Flowers, which   cannot hate art. It can just not be for you.
                 premiere here last year in the   market for you?              stars Kiersey Clemons and Nick   Best film ever: Nebraska — I loved it.
                 Cannes Classics section. It was   I was born in Antibes, so Cannes is close to   Robinson; and The Hating Game, are all
                 released theatrically in the US last   my heart! I studied biochemistry at the   being sold by Mister Smith   Biggest gripe on the Riviera:
                 month.                         University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. On a   Entertainment. We also take this   I am French so I am not at liberty to
                                                business level, Cannes is one of the most
                                                                               opportunity to meet with a lot of
                 Co-produced and narrated by                                                                  speak.✦             Liza Foreman
                 Jodie Foster, it’s a feature-length
                 documentary that re-writes fi lm   Ravic’s up-close look at a surreal life
                 history, revealing for the fi rst time
                 the full story of the life and work
                 of Alice Guy-Blaché, cinema’s fi rst    NOWN for his avant-garde                              finest art schools.
                 female director, screenwriter,         style, contemporary surrealist                        Migrating to Australia as a 21-year- old in
                 producer and studio owner.             Charles Billich is one of                             1956, Billich continued his studies at the
                 The fi lm features interviews           Australia’s most prominent                            Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
                 with Patty Jenkins, Diablo Cody,    K living artists. A prolific painter,                    and the National Gallery School of Victoria,
                 Ben Kingsley, Geena Davis, Ava   sculptor and sketch artist for the past 35                  where he would go on to open the Billich
                                               years, Billich is the subject of a film taking a
                                                                                                              Gallery in 1985 and establish himself as
                 DuVernay, Michel Hazanavicius,   behind-the-scenes look at his colourful                     one of Australia’s best-known
                 Evan Rachel Wood and Julie    lifestyle. The feature documentary —                           contemporary surrealist art exports.
                 Delpy, among many others.     Billich: Beyond the Canvas — is directed                       Throughout his career, Billich has won
                 Be Natural explores the heights   and produced by Steve Ravic and                            many high-profile awards including the
                 of fame and fi nancial success   premieres at at the Festival this year. There                Florence Biennale in 2009 and the 77th
                 Guy-Blaché achieved before she   are also future plans for a feature film, to                Honorary Shaolin Monk Award in Henan,
                 was shut out from the industry   be called My Way, based on the true story                   China in 2004. He was also awarded the
                 she helped create, and effectively   of Billich. The feature is currently in                 keys to the city of Atlanta during the
                 written out of cinema history.   development with Steve Ravic and                            Centennial Olympic Games in 1996. Loved
                 Over the span of her career, she   Melbourne, Australia-based Majestic Film.                                                         for his rock-star flare and irreverent style,
                 wrote, produced or directed 1,000   Billich’s career includes official art for               Billich continues to captivate the
                                               everything from the Olympics, Red Cross,
                                                                                                              imagination of many collectors around the

                 fi lms. She worked in all genres   Rugby World Cup, AFL to the Vatican and     Charles Billich (left),   world. “Give me something and I am able
                 — and made history by making   the even the Playboy Mansion. His              Christa Billich and
                 the earliest-known, surviving,   paintings also grace the walls of The White   Steve Ravic  © DR to work with it,” he says of his ability to
                                                                                                              adapt his creations. It is this diversity that
                 narrative fi lm with an all-African-  House and the UN Headquarters, and he                   has seen Billich’s work admired by a broad
                 American cast.                has been compared to Salvador Dali.  which regrettably lead him to be   range of high profile collectors, including
                 Green discovered rare footage   Born in Lovran, Croatia, much of Charles   sentenced to 10 years in prison by the   political leaders, celebrities and prolific
                 of televised interviews and long   Billich’s subject matter has been shaped by   Yugoslavian regime which governed   personalities, adding to his status in the
                 archived audio interviews which   his fascinating personal history. As an   Croatia at the time. Charles was granted   contemporary surrealist art world.
                 can be heard for the fi rst time in   example, Charles’ ballet collections were in   amnesty two years later however, partly as   Billich and his wife Christa are involved in
                 Be Natural, enabling Alice Guy-  part inspired by his early life as a student   a result of the overflowing prison system.   various philanthropic activities,
                                                                                                              contributing to several high-profile
                                               dancer with the Opera de Ballet in the
                                                                               He then sought political asylum in Austria
                 Blaché the chance, posthumously,   Croatian port city of Rijeka. During this   after escaping across the border, where he   charities in Australia. They are also
                 to tell her own story. ✦      early period, a politically-minded Billich   went on to study art at the   passionate about fostering and nurturing
                                     Julian Newby  wrote satirical articles for a local magazine,   Volkschocheschule, one of Salzburg’s   young talent. ✦   Liza Foreman

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