La Fabrique Cinéma and its patron, the Burmese-Taiwanese dual national director Midi Z, are getting ready for the Festival de Cannes
Updated on 19/05/2022
The Institut français and its partners France Médias Monde, the Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique (Sacem), and l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) are proud to announce the nomination of filmmaker Midi Z as patron of the 2022 edition of La Fabrique Cinéma and of the ten projects selected this year.
As part of the Les Cinémas du Monde pavilion, La Fabrique’s participants from Africa, Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East will be able to meet their patron as well as the French and foreign film professionals present for the Festival’s Marché du Film.
The Myanmar-born Taiwanese director Midi Z, a former recipient of La Fabrique Cinéma, is the patron of the 2022 edition
Each year, an internationally-renowned director is chosen as patron of La Fabrique Cinéma.
Eva Nguyen Binh, president of the Institut français:
“In 2012, we welcomed Midi Z, the Myanmar-born Taiwanese director and producer, who was preparing The Road to Mandalay. In ten years, his exceptional career has made him one of the most highly anticipated filmmakers of his generation, with selections at Cannes, Berlin, Venice, and Rotterdam. He will be able to pass on his experience to this year’s recipients through several work sessions at the Cinémas du Monde pavilion.”
Midi Z was born in 1982 in the border city of Lashio, in Myanmar. Midi Z moved to Taiwan aged 16 to study commercial printing and industrial design, and later learned filmmaking on his own. With his long-term interest in Chinese diaspora and his own relocation experience, he depicts the realities of life struggles in the Sinophonic communities in Myanmar. He has touched on issues such as drug-trafficking, illegal immigration, jade mining, and desperate poverty. His production budget is low and he takes a guerilla approach in shooting in order to evade the censorship of the Burmese government. But his works, full of fresh energy, reveal formal rigour, meticulous narrative structure, and crafted camerawork. Drawing inspiration from his personal experience, he has developed a distinctive style in his authentic, intimate, and compassionate portraits of people.
In 2011, Return to Burma, Midi’s debut feature, was nominated at the Busan New Currents and Rotterdam Tiger Competitions. In 2014, Ice Poison was selected at Berlinale and also won Best International Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival and represented Taiwan as the official entry film for the Academy Awards. In 2016, The Road to Mandalay won the Best Feature Film FEDEORA Award at the Venice Film Festival. In addition, Midi has made three documentaries, including City of Jade, which premiered at the 2016 Berlinale and was nominated for Best Documentary at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards as well as the Taipei Golden Horse Awards and won the Special mention award at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, and 14 Apples, which was screened at the 2018 Berlinale. His latest film Nina Wu was selected at the Festival de Cannes in 2019.
La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français is a program designed to identify and promote filmmakers and producers from developing countries. The program offers a tailor-made support to accompany debut or second film projects, along with a number of professional partners. One component of the program focuses on music in films through the organisation of meetings between composers and filmmakers to promote collaborations around original music.
The ten projects selected for La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français 2022 are:
- BURKINA FASO – Djéliya, Mémoire du Mandingue by Boubacar Sangaré, produced by Mamounata Nikiéma (Pilumpiku Production) / Documentary / 2nd feature film
- EGYPT – Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore by Morad Mostafa, produced by Sawsan Yusuf (Bonanza Films) / Fiction / 1st feature film
- INDIA – Starfruits by Gourab Kumar Mullick, produced by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni (Arbhaat Films) / Fiction / 1stfeature film
- MEXICO – Godspeed Satan by José Pablo Escamilla, produced by Diandra Arriaga (Colectivo Colmena) / Fiction / 2nd feature film
- MEXICO – Acapulco Magic by Tavo Ruiz, produced by Rodrigo Alvarez Flores (Cine al Norte) / Fiction / 1st feature film
- NEPAL – Elephants in the Fog by Abinash Shah, produced by Anup Poudel (Underground Talkies Nepal) / Fiction / 1st feature film
- PAKISTAN – Haven of Hope by Seemab Gul, produced by Abid Aziz Merchant (Sanat Initiative) / Fiction / 1st feature film
- RWANDA – Benimana directed and produced by Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo (Ejo-Cine) / Fiction / 1st feature film
- UKRAINE – Ground Zero by Zhanna Ozirna, produced by Dmytro Sukhanov (Toy pictures) / Fiction / 1st feature film
- VIETNAM – If Wood Could Cry, it Would Cry Blood by Linh Dan Nguyen Phan, produced by Thi Bich Hanh Ngo (BHD/Vietnam studios) / Fiction / 1st feature film
9 fictions and 1 documentary will be presented, backed by 4 female directors and 6 male directors, 5 female producers and 5 male producers.
8 projects are debut films, and 2 are second films.
4 countries are members of the OIF (Burkina Faso / Egypt / Rwanda / Vietnam) and 2 countries are observers (Mexico / Ukraine).
It is the first time that La Fabrique selects projects from Mexico and Pakistan.
A project from Ukraine is part of the final selection.
La Fabrique cinéma de l’Institut français in numbers
Since 2009, La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français has:
selected 124 projects from developing countries, invited 223 directors and producers (including 47 female directors and 51 female producers) from 65 different countries.
The program often comes in towards the start of the project. To this day, more than 40% of projects end up as a completed film.
Completed films from the program benefit from an important circulation within the international film festival circuit. To this day, there have been 350 selections at international festivals. Seven of these completed films have had the honour of a world premiere at Cannes.
Half of these films have benefitted from the expertise and support of an international sales agent, which was a French film exporter in 80% of cases.
Commercial exploitation in France is one of the first market opportunities; close to 50% of projects supported by La Fabrique were released or will be released in France. Out of 50 completed films to this day, 20 have already been distributed in France.
Among the latest completed films to circulate commercially and in the festival circuit, we can highlight:
- El Gran Movimiento by Kiro Russo (Bolivia, La Fabrique 2018), Special Orizzonti Jury Prize at the 2021 Venice Film Festival – French release on 30 March 2022.
- Zinder by Aïcha Macky (Niger, La Fabrique 2018), in competition at Visions du Réel 2021 and won a prize at the 2021 Fespaco
- Night of the Kings by Philippe Lacôte (Côte d’Ivoire, La Fabrique 2018), Orrizonti selection at the 2020 Venice Film Festival and selected at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival – Released in France in 2021
- Should The Wind Drop by Nora Martirosyan (Armenia, La Fabrique 2013), “Festival de Cannes 2020” label, in association with ACID - Released in France in 2021
- Todos os mortos, by Marco Dutra and Caetano Gotardo (Brazil, La Fabrique 2014), in competition at the 2020 Berlinale – French release in 2022
- Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness, by Massoud Bakhshi (Iran, La Fabrique 2016), World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and selected at the 2020 Berlinale – Released in France in 2020
La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut français is a program designed by the Institut Français, in close collaboration with the Festival de Cannes, in partnership with France Médias Monde, la Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (Sacem) and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.