Atelier taps 15 for 2008


PARIS -- The Festival de Cannes has selected 15 projects from 14 countries for the fourth installment of the Cinefondation's Atelier program, organizers said Monday.

Launched in 2005, the Atelier was created to aid both established directors and rising-star filmmakers with the financing and completion of their upcoming projects. The Cinefondation's Atelier -- or "workshop" in English -- allows the selected filmmakers to spend eight days networking at the world's biggest international film event of the year.

From May 16-23, the chosen directors and their respective producers will schmooze along the Croisette and meet with market attendees.

This year's eclectic mix of international filmmakers include U.S. first-time feature helmer Braden King ("Here"), Lee Isaac Chung ("Lucky Life") and Arvin Chen (Taiwanese co-production "First Page Taipei").

Other first-time helmers chosen include French director Lea Fehner ("Qu'un seul tienne, et les autres suivront"), Colombia's Ruben Mendoza ("The Stoplight Society"), Israeli Nadav Lapid ("The Policeman"), Romanians Razvan Radulescu and Melissa De Raaf ("First of All, Felicia"), Somali helmer Abdi Ismael Jama ("Queleh") and Vietnam's Phang Dang Di ("Bi, Don't Be Afraid").

More experienced filmmakers include China's Lou Ye, selected for his sixth feature film, "Bitch"; Hungarian Benedek Fliegauf, on hand with his third feature, "Womb"; and Oleg Novkovic, who brings his fourth effort, "White, White World." Second-time helmers are Uruguay's Juan Pittaluga, with "Punta del Este," and Estonian Ilmar Raag, with "One More Croissant."