CANNES — One of the latest candidates to become the big French comedy of 2013, first-time feature director Mohamed Hamidiâs buzz title âHomelandâ (Ne quelque part sâinspire) will receive a Cannesâ Official Selection Special Screening dedicated to school students.
Sold by Wild Bunch, âHomelandâ is backed by âThe Intouchablesâ producer Quad Films. Paris-based, Quad also teamed with UPI to produce romantic comedy âHeartbreaker,â which scored a weighty Euros 24 million ($31.1 million) in France.
Written by Hamidi and Alain-Michel Blanc, a regular Radu Mihaileanu co-scribe (âThe Concert,â âThe Sourceâ), âHomelandâ is a cleverly structured civil-status comedy, inspired in part by the directorâs own return to his fatherâs village in Algeria after 20 years of absence.
In the film, Farid, a 26-year-old French law student (Tewfik Jallab) visits his fatherâs village in Algeria for the first time in his life, falls in love with the country and a beautiful girl in the village, then has his papers stolen by his shady cousin, who wants an easy passage to France.
Suddenly, Farid, who has never thought of not being a French citizen or not living in France, has to try to get back to France as an illegal immigrant — if he decides to return to France at all.
Top Gallic comedian Jamel Debbouze, who also co-produces out of his Kissfilms label, heads the cast playing Faridâs cousin.
A buzz title at Januaryâs Unifrance Paris Rendez-vous, where foreign distributors sensed âHomelandâsâ feel-good appeal and remake potential, âHomelandâ will have just one screening at Cannes, with Debbouze and Hamidi in attendance.
Hamidi, a screenwriter for Debbouzeâs stage show âTout sur Jamel,â was encouraged to write the screenplay by Debbouze and âIntouchablesââ directors Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, he has said.
The one-movie Cannes Special Screening school student slot was filled last year by Patrice Leconteâs âThe Suicide Shop.â
Cannes: Gallic Laffer âHomelandâ Nabs Cannes Slot (EXCLUSIVE)
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