11 may 2023 Noemie Merlant, Celine Sciamma Reteam for Genre-Bending ‘The Balconettes,’ MK2 Films Bows Sales

Noémie Merlant, the French actor of “Tár”, is reteaming with Celine Sciamma, who directed her in “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”, for her sophomore outing, “The Balconettes”.

The fantastical comedy horror movie is being written by Merlant with the collaboration of Céline Sciamma. MK2 Films will launch sales at the Cannes Film Market. Filming is slated to begin this summer.

Set in a boiling Marseille neighborhood plagued by a heat wave, the movie revolves around three roommates who gleefully meddle in the lives of their neighbors from their balcony. Until a late-night drink turns into a bloody affair. Sometimes gory, sometimes brazen, always playful. Merlant stars in the film alongside Souheila Yacoub (“Dune 2”) and Sanda Codreanu (“Mi Iubita Mon Amour”).

Merlant, who won this year’s Cesar Award for her role in Louis Garrel’s “The Innocent”, made her feature debut as a director with “Mi Iubita Mon Amour” which played at Cannes, in the Special Screenings section, in 2021.

“When I started writing (‘The Balconettes’), I would think about how women suffer and how we use our humour as a weapon. The story started to take the form of a comedy. I wanted to create female characters that speak to me and who resemble those around me – to look at violence and victimisation,” explained Merlant.

She said she “wanted to push the idea to the extreme and observe what it provokes, bringing in genre elements – fantasy and gore. I first discovered cinema through the Asian horror films that my sister and I would watch throughout our adolescence, it has been a major influence”.

Fionnuala Jamison, MK2 Films’ managing director, said the company is “thrilled to be working with Noémie again after “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”. Penned and directed by Sciamma, the film starred Merland and Adele Haenel. It won best screenplay at Cannes and was nominated at the Golden Globes and BAFTA’s, among others.

“We instantly fell in love with her bold and in-your-face foray into genre with ‘The Balconettes’. It is wildly entertaining, almost farcical at times, and liberating with a vital feminist statement at its heart. We can’t wait to share the script.” said Jamison.

The Balconettes” also reteams Merlant with producer Pierre Guyard at Nord-Ouest Films who had produced “Mi Iubita Mon Amour”. Céline Sciamma will serve as executive producer.

MK2 Films will be at the Cannes Film Festival with nine films across different sections, including Justine Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall” which is set to compete for a Palme d’Or, and Lubna Playoust’s “Room 999” which will play at Cannes Classics.

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