16 January 2012
Written by John Hopewell:
“Virginie Devesa and Keiko Funato have launched Alpha Violet, a Paris-based sales company that underscores the cosmopolitan reach of the Gallic sector.
One early Alpha Violet acquisition, “Off White Lies,” from Israel’s Maya Kenig, played in Competition last week at the Palm Springs Festival and screens in Berlinale’s Generation sidebar.
Backed by France’s Chamber of Commerce, Alpha Violet aims to work with new talent from emerging national cinemas, making international sales on movies that reflect the burgeoning breadth of arthouse production….”. Alpha’s range reflects its founders’ backgrounds: Both learnt their sales agents’ trade at Hengameh Panahi’s Celluloid Dreams, then joined U Media; Funato worked for Japanese distributor Uplink; Devesa served as an audiovisual attache at the French Embassy in Moscow. Set at the outbreak of the second Lebanon war, accessible arthouse comedy “Lies” has a father and daughter posing as war refugees to snag accommodation with a wealthy Jerusalem family.
Alpha Violet’s two other first buys tackle social issues more directly: Toplining Maria de Madeiros (“Pulp Fiction”), “Journey to Portugal,” from Portuguese docu filmmaker Sérgio Tréfaut, denounces prejudice and European airport border control procedures; a radical proposition, low-budget, b/w coming-of-age tale “Bullet Collector,” by Russia’s Alexander Vartanov, captures the violence of rebellious Moscow youth. Kenig, Tréfaut and Vartanov are first-time fiction directors.
“We want to partner with filmmakers from their beginnings and work on quality daring films with issues we’d like to talk about,” Devesa told Variety.
SILVER BEAR FOR OUTSTANDING ARTISTIC CONTRIBUTION
Elena Okopnaya for costume and production design in Dovlatov by Alexey German Jr.