I learned today that Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad’s foremost filmmaker, whose last film – the documentary “Hissein Habre, A Chadian Tragedy” – premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival (and is now available on home video), is currently in post-production on his next film, a dramatic feature titled “A Season in France” (“Une Saison en France”).
The film, described as an “asylum seeker love story,” stars Eriq Ebouaney and Sandrine Bonnaire.
Ebouaney (who most will likely remember playing the lead in Raoul Peck’s “Lumumba”) stars as an asylum seeker in France – a teacher from the Central African Republic who happens to be a widower with 2 young children. While awaiting a decision on his application, he works in a food market in Paris to support himself and his kids where he meets a white French woman (played by Bonnaire) who eventually falls in love with him and offers him and his family a home.
Naturally, drama ensues.
Also in the cast is Bibi Tanga, the Central African Republic musician.
The film is being produced by Florence Stern of Pili Films; French sales company MK2 Films are repping “A Season in France” globally.
It marks the first time that Haroun has shot a feature film in France.
“A Season in France fits perfectly with our auteur-focused line-up which now features a refreshing mix of established directors and newcomers,” said MK2 Films sales and acquisition head Juliette Schrameck in a previous statement.
The company is also repping another feature film we’re following – Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido and Modi Barry’s feature film directorial debut, “Chateau,” which will recount “the trials and tribulations of a group of hair salon hustlers whose fast talk and tall tales see them accidentally entwined in the district’s best kept sentimental secret.”
I’m certainly looking forward to both of these new films from Haroun, Ido and Barry.
In the meantime, we have an official first-look image from Haroun’s “A Season in France” which is embedded above. Given that it’s currently in post-production, I would expect a Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) world premiere later this year. Haroun is typically a lock for Cannes, but this year’s event has already ended and I don’t see him waiting until Cannes 2018 to premiere the film. So the most likely high profile film festival he’s probably targeting is TIFF in the fall.