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Le Groupe Ouest 2024

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2024 Le Groupe Ouest Selections: Zeno Graton & Angela Ottobah Among 8 Chosen Filmmakers

2024 Le Groupe Ouest Selections: Zeno Graton & Angela Ottobah Among 8 Chosen Filmmakers

Among the well-known avenues of support for scriptwriting in the film industry, such as the Sundance Screenwriter’s Labs and Cannes’ The Residence, stands France’s Le Groupe Ouest, offering mentored assistance at the script development stage. Cineuropa revealed the eight filmmakers selected for Le Groupe Ouest’s 2024 writer residency, comprising two sophomore features and six debut projects. The coastal setting of Brittany likely contributes to shaping future works, as evidenced by the consistently high-quality output from past participants, some of whom have gone on to present critically acclaimed films at top-tier festivals. The nine-month residency spans four sessions from April to December – this year’s batch we’ve got Zeno Graton (2023’s The Lost Boys) and Angela Ottobah (2023’s Paula). Here are the eight projects:

Le Groupe Ouest 2024

Brume – Alexander Abaturov
Jane is a 28-year-old Métis woman from a mixed Cree and French family. After many years away, she returns to her native village, a place filled with magic, located on an indigenous reserve in northern Quebec. The complex reunion with her family and community starts to fall apart, an unprecedented heat wave hits the country and the village is enveloped by a thick cloud of smoke. The black ash carried by the wind betrays alarming news: the forest is on fire and the flames are approaching. Abandoned by the government and left to their own devices, the inhabitants must join forces to fight the Dragon.

La Fille des bois – Xavier Demoulin
Anaïs, in her twenties, went to live in the forest a few years ago, rejecting everything from the ugly world and human society. In the forest, as time passes by, she lives a simple life of amazement. Anaïs takes shelter in hiding places and ruins, and sometimes slips into houses when the inhabitants are away. The locals allow it to happen; they know her and harbour a certain tenderness for this person who reminds them of their youth, when they themselves came to settle here to flee a life that was already set in stone. Her entourage sometimes offers her food during difficult seasons. One day, Enzo, a young fugitive, crosses her path. She decides to help him. They tame each other, but Enzo’s desperate bid to escape quickly threatens Anaïs’s life of freedom.

À part faire des grillades, il ne se passait rien – Violette Garcia
France, 2025. Agent X, aka Jacques, infiltrates an obscure right-wing group composed of frustrated men who are nevertheless well placed in society. He wonders exactly how stupid and dangerous they are, and if there is a correlation between both.

Commune – Zeno Graton
Mia lives in Nova, a political and musical hotspot in the heart of the city, but is threatened with eviction. She gets through this with a handful of locals, including Ismaël, whom she starts dating. As their relationship breaks down and Nova is threatened from all sides, Mia will have to consider direct action as a tactic and find other ways to forge a family.

À bord, la vie – Coralie Lavergne
Off the coast of countries where abortion is prohibited, Amal’s humanitarian team carries out the procedure legally at sea. As they prepare for their next mission in Morocco, Amal receives a call from 15-year-old Malika. While Amal thinks that she is in control of the mission, everything changes when she realises how the personal story of the teenager resonates with her own. Her determination to get her on board now knows no bounds.

Torem – Julien Meynet
Corsica, late 19th century. After the sudden death of his wife, a high-mountain shepherd undertakes a strange funerary ritual: capture a wild horse, attach the body of the deceased to it and trust the animal to choose the place where the grave must be dug. But after several days of walking, for some inexplicable reason, the animal never seems to want to stop.

Bébé d’or – Angela Ottobah
Madee is the ghost of a little girl trapped in a doll’s body. She dreams of the perfect mother who will be able to release her from her life as an object. Eugénia has always strived to live her life “properly”, despite her all-consuming imagination. Until one day when, through a strange coincidence, Madee and Eugénia meet. Their lives are immediately turned upside down, for better and for worse.

Life Is Good – François Vacarisas
Omar is in his thirties. He is a temp but is penniless and has to live in his car. His new temp job led him to become a gravedigger. It is there that he meets his colleague Steve, a fence who is also a bodysnatcher. Steve finds a flat for Omar, a hovel in which the previous tenant, Mona, was murdered. From that day on, Omar will live among ghosts – those of the cemetery, who ask things of him, and that of Mona, his new roommate from beyond the grave. But Mona seems trapped by a curse: she is condemned to relive the last day of her life, including her death, before the helpless eyes of Omar, who always arrives too late. To save Mona, Omar sets out to find her killer and avenge her death. And all roads seem to lead to Steve.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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