Taskovski Films is taking action ahead of the Cannes Film Festival next week.
The sales and production company has acquired “Aya”, the first feature film by Belgian director Simon Coulibaly Gillard, Variety exclusively learned.
“Aya”, a co-production between Belgians Michigan Films and French Kidam, is due in the ACID section of Cannes on July 10, with four successive screenings spread over the next few days.
The film centers on Aya, a young woman who grows up with her mother on the island of Lahou. Cheerful and carefree, Aya enjoys picking coconuts and sleeping on the sand. However, his paradise is doomed to disappear underwater. As the waves threaten her home, Aya makes a decision: the sea level may rise, she will not leave her island.
“We were immediately wowed by the power of the image and the tenderness of the extraordinary main character on this mystical journey from climate change to coming of age,” said Irena Taskovski, CEO of Taskovski Films. “’Aya’ is a crazy experience between fiction and documentary produced by the director and cinematographer of the successful medium-length film ‘Boli Bana’. It’s always exciting to collaborate with such inventive productions like Michigan Films and Kidam with whom we share a passion for pushing the boundaries of the cinematic experience.
Generously dusted in documentary style, “Aya” deals with the very real threat of climate change to the local Ivorian community and stars non-professional local actress Marie-Josée Degny Kokora as the main character. Gillard says he discovered Marie-Josée while researching her village for her film.
“’Aya’ was a production bet we made with director Simon Coulibaly Gillard, from a few words on a [piece of] paper and a fierce desire to imagine new stories and new characters. Then came our daring French co-producer François-Pierre Clavel, who shares our love for artisanal hybrid films. We financed the film by bringing together documentary and feature film funds to reach audiences in theater and television. We are pleased to add dynamic and cutting edge sales agent Taskovski Films to the team to bring this innovative ACID Cannes film to a global audience, ”added Michigan Films producers Sébastien Andres and Alice Lemaire.