TTB project ARNOLD IS A MODEL STUDENT is shooting

In Production January 2022

  • TTB project ARNOLD IS A MODEL STUDENT by Sorayos Prapapan, producer: TTB graduate Donsaron Kovitvanitcha, co-producer: EAVE graduate Denis Vaslin, TTB graduate Jeremy Zelnik is shooting in January 2022. Arnold, a half Thai-Filipino boy lives alone in Bangkok. His parents are seeking political asylum in a country far away from Thailand. His school is one of the best schools in Thailand where parents are willing to bribe the headmaster to get their kids into the school, but Arnold despises Thai educational system which teaches students to believe without questioning. During the political unrest in 2014, when middle class people in Bangkok were calling the military to get rid of the corrupt politician, Arnold meets Bee, a guy who works for an agency that works in cheating the military school entrance examination. Bee wants a clever student like Arnold to help stupid rich kid become a cadet. Though being a sceptic, Arnold joins Bee agency anyway and earns a lot of money. The job takes him to the world of corruption and let him see the double standard of morality in Thailand. The project has received support from Aide aux Cinémas du monde (France), Hubert Bals Fund (The Netherlands), NFF+HBF Co-production Scheme (The Netherlands), HBF+Europe: Minority Co-production Support (The Netherlands), Southeast Asia Co-Production Grant (Singapore).


  • CHIARA by Susanna Nicchiarelli, producers: Interchange graduate Marta Donzelli, EAVE graduate Valérie Bournonville is shooting. The film recounts the life of Saint Clare (Chiara) of Assisi and concludes a trilogy of female biographies, which was initiated in 2017 by NICO, 1988 and continued in 2020 with MISS MARX. „Our aim is the same as that of Nico and Eleanor Marx: to reveal and explore the real-life person outside of history books”, Susanna Nicchiarelli explained. Clare is the very young noblewoman who imitated Francis of Assisi and embraced poverty. Born in 1194 to the rich and noble Offreducci family, Clare was only 12 years old when Francis of Assisi carried out the gesture of removing all his clothes. Bowled over by Francis’ example, on the evening of Palm Sunday seven years later, in 1211 or 1212, young Clare runs away from home to join him at Porziuncola Church. The Saint cuts her hair and tells her wear a Franciscan habit, before leading her to the Benedictine convent of St. Paul, in Bastia Umbra, where her father tries in vain to persuade her to return home. She subsequently takes refuge in the Church of St. Damian, where she establishes the Women’s Order of “poor nuns” (later called Clarisse) over which she is appointed Abbess and where Francis sets out his first Rule. CHIARA is co-produced by Italy and Belgium via Marta Donzelli and Gregorio Paonessa on behalf of Vivo Film, alongside RAI Cinema and Tarantula. The film enjoys support from the Italian Ministry of Culture’s Film and Audiovisual Department and from Eurimages.


  • THE OCCUPIED CITY by Steve McQueen, producer: EAVE graduate Floor Onrust is in production. The historical documentary is based on a book by McQueen’s wife, journalist and filmmaker Bianca Stigter, entitled Atlas of an Occupied City – Amsterdam 1940-1945. The Netherlands Film Fund stated: “Living in Amsterdam is like living with spirits. It looks like there are two parallel worlds. The past is always present.” A large element of the film will be looking at the Amsterdam of the present, and bringing out its “hidden history” and “traces” of the past. McQueen himself has been based in the city for several decades now. The film is budgeted at over $5 million – a large figure for a movie of this type – and US producers A24 and New Regency have boarded as co-financiers and international rights holders, joining Film4 and Lammas Park from the UK, and Family Affair Films from the Netherlands. Floor Onrust from the latter company is producing. Further partners on the Dutch-UK-US co-production are the Netherlands Film Fund, the Mondriaan Fund and the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.


  • TORCH SONG by Jeroen Houben, producer: EAVE participant Noortje Wilschut is shooting. The plot focuses on Liz, a retired American pop singer who is still haunted by her former success. When her mother dies, she is left to her own devices and decides to visit her only relative – her estranged half-brother Gabe, whom she has not seen in years but who lives with his girlfriend Joey in Amsterdam, a place where Liz can still walk the streets and go fairly unnoticed. Her visit prompts turmoil within the couple, which will shake all three sides of this newly formed triangle. Inspired by stories of real-life celebrities, such as Kate Bush and Marvin Gaye, who at some point decided to disappear into anonymity, TORCH SONG intends to explore the friction between what we want people to know about us and what cannot be prevented from getting out to the masses. However, Houben confirms that instead of zooming in on the psychological journey of a character or a relationship, the emphasis is more on the theme of bonding. “Our story is not necessarily about Liz, and certainly not about the struggles of fame or anything like that, but rather about something more universal: a need to be ‘seen’ and recognised,” says the director. The project was developed with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund during the first two lockdowns in 2021, and was granted support from the Netherlands Production Incentive.


  • SIRIN by Senad Sahmanovic, producer: EAVE graduate Alem Babic is shooting. The Montenegrin filmmaker's feature debut is an identity drama following a lawyer who returns to her home country to resolve an inheritance case involving a rich woman who has bequeathed a large sum to the Orthodox church in her hometown. In order to do this, Nathalie has to re-examine her original identity and culture, which she had buried in an attempt to embrace the new one so that she could advance in her career. SIRIN is a co-production between Montenegro's Cut-Up, Croatia's Sekvenca, Albania's On Film Production, Kosovo's Buka and Bosnia's Dokument. Previously, the project took part in MIDPOINT Feature Launch, Sarajevo's CineLink, and Berlinale and Sarajevo Talents (where it won the Pack&Pitch Award), plus it received the Beaumarchais SACD Award and the Best Pitch Award at Prishtina's Pri Film Fest. Support comes from the Film Centre of Montenegro, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, the Albanian National Center of Cinematography, the Kosovo Cinematography Center and Eurimages.


  • LOTUS by Signe Birkova, producer: EAVE FFF graduate Roberts Vinovskis is in production. The Latvian-Lithuanian co-production will centre on German-Baltic Countess Alice Von Trotta, who became an avant-garde filmmaker in Latvian silent cinema. The script for Lotus, penned by Birkova herself, tells the turbulent story of German-Baltic Countess Alice Von Trotta, an outsider who, by overcoming physical and mental obstacles and prejudices, became an avant-garde filmmaker in Latvian silent cinema. The feature promises to incorporate “elements of various film genres” and to include “quotes from world cinema classics”, with a special focus on silent cinema. To ensure greater authenticity, the silent film fragments will be shot with a 1921 camera, and instead of digital cameras, LOTUS will be filmed entirely with an analogue 16 mm camera using Kodak film stock. LOTUS is being produced by EAVE FFF graduate Roberts Vinovskis and Dominiks Jarmakovics for Latvia’s Studio Locomotive, and co-produced by Uljana Kim for Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim, with backing from the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Lithuanian Film Centre.


  • THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING by Timm Kröger, producer: EAVE graduate Heino Deckert is in production. The shooting of the co-production between Germany, Austria and Switzerland is taking place in the Austrian ski resort of St. Jakob Defereggen in the Alps. This picturesque mountainous location serves as the location for the historical mystery thriller set in 1962. The film is shot in Cinemascope and in black and white. It tells the story of Johannes and Karin. Johannes travels to a physics congress in Austria where he meets Karin, a pianist, who knows suspiciously much about him. A series of mysterious deaths occur and the two try to unveil the secret that lies under the mountain. Involved are an Iranian guest, a bizarre cloud formation in the sky and quantum-mechanics. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is a production of Fiction (Germany) and The Barricades (Germany) in co-production with Panama Film (Austria) and Catpics AG (Switzerland). It is made possible in cooperation with ZDF/Arte, ORF and SRF and has received funding in Germany from BKM, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and the German Federal Film Fund. In Austria, the project has received funding from the Austrian Film Institute, Filmstandort Austria (FISA), Filmfonds Vienna, the Province of Lower Austria and the Cine Tirol Filmcommission, and in Switzerland from the BAK and the Zurich Film Foundation.

Page published 31 January 2022.

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