Is giving away prized possessions what you have to do to make an original film these days?
Blue is the Warmest Color director Abdellatif Kechiche is trying to pawn off the Palme d’Or he won for the film at Cannes in 2013. The reason? He needs cash to fund his next film, titled Mektoub, My Love. He’s nearly finished the feature, but has had to halt production once the money dried up.
“In order to raise the necessary funds for the completion of post-production without further delays, the French production and distribution company Quat’Sous is auctioning film memorabilia related to Kechiche’s work,” a statement given to the Hollywood Reporter reads. “Items to be offered range from the Palme d’Or (Cannes Film Festival 2013) to the oil paintings that played a central role in Blue Is the Warmest Color”.
While it’s no doubt difficult to raise funds to make interesting, necessary films that aren’t reboots or sequels in 2017, auctioning off the award you won for it reads a bit drastic. And maybe it is. Between 2005 and 2014, 39 per cent of the top grossing movies were truly original (i.e. not reboots, sequels or adaptations).
Recently speaking to director Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World), he told me the reason behind his long hiatus from making films. (His last was Art School Confidential in 2006). “ I'm still trying to make films, but in general, financing's never been more difficult for small/medium budget films for adults,” he told me. “I suppose you could do a horror film or shoot a film on your phone, but I’m still holding out to do it right.”
Somewhat ironic is that Mektoub, My Love, tells the story of Amin – a guy who finds himself in the midst of a love triangle on summer vacation with – wait for it – the wife of a producer who agrees to finance the character’s first film. Yike. Amin must reconcile between his work as a screenwriter or his forbidden affair.