"The Perfect Candidate" and "Martin Eden" Enter Venice Competition
The MDM-funded, international co-productions "The Perfect Candidate" by Haifaa Al Mansour and "Martin Eden" by Pietro Marcello are going to premiere at the Competition of the Venice International Film Festival in its 76th edition.
Claas Danielsen, CEO of Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM), comments: "It is such a joy to know that this year, the Golden Lion is within reach for not one but two of the films funded by MDM at the oldest film festival in the world. I am particularly thrilled that we were able to support such an exceptional filmmaker as Haifaa Al Mansour again, as we previously did with "Wadjda", which also premiered in Venice."
With her debut film "Wadjda", the first-ever big-screen film to be made in Saudi Arabia, Haifaa Al Mansour was invited into Venices’s Orizzonti section in 2012. Al Mansour went on to make the Biopic "Mary Shelley". Her latest work, the Comedy "The Perfect Candidate", narrates the story of a young female Saudi physician named Maryam (Mila Al Zahrani), who decides to run for the male-dominated parliament of her home town in a bid to improve her hospital’s situation.
Co-produced by Vendor House Production, Razor Film Produktion and the NDR TV network, the project received funding by the Saudi Film Council, Medienboard, and FFA. The film was shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and post-produced by The Post Republic and Metrix Media in Halle (on the Saale River). It will be brought to German movie theaters by Neue Visionen Filmverleih.
With "Martin Eden", Pietro Marcello from Italy presents an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Jack London. The film revolves around the titular character (Luca Marinelli), a young sailor with a passion for reading, who falls in love with Elena Orsini (Jessica Cressy), a sophisticated young woman of the upper class. To measure up to her intellectually, he takes on an ambitious curriculum of self-study. Ultimately he decides to become a writer, but for a long time, success eludes him.
The drama has been co-produced by Avventurosa with Rai Cinema, IBC Movie (all three of Italy), along with Shellac Sud (France), and Match Factory Productions (Germany), and the BR and Arte TV networks (German and German-French, respectively). Apart from MDM, funding came from CNC, Aide aux cinémas du monde, Tax Credit Italy, MiBACT, Regione Campania, and the Film Commission of Regione Campania and Regione Lazio. The Leipzig-based company Celluloid Tracks was in charge of sound mixing, while VFX work was handled by The Post Republic of Halle (on the Salle River).
The 76th edition of the Venice International Film Festival takes place from August 28 to September 7.