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BERLIN – French actor Tahar Rahim, star of Jacques Audiard’s Oscar-nominated A Prophet, will play the lead in The Cut, the final entry in the famed Love, Death and the Devil trilogy from German director Fatih Akin that includes Berlinale Golden Bear winner Head-On (2004) and Cannes best screenplay winner The Edge of Heaven (2007).
While Head-On dealt with romance and Edge of Heaven with mortality, the conclusion of Akin’s trilogy will focus on the devil — that is, the evil inherent in mankind. It should be familiar ground for Rahim, whose international breakthrough in the violent A Prophet came from playing a young Arab sent to prison who rises through the ranks to become a mafia kingpin.
Akin’s Corazon International shingle is producing The Cut with Pandora Film. Corazon, whose credits include award-winning music doc Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul, also will co-produce 11 Friends with Pandora. The documentary from Korean filmmaker Sung-Hyung Cho (Full Metal Village) looks at the German women’s soccer team and its failed attempt to defend its championship at the 2011 women’s World Cup in Germany.
Cologne-based Pandora, which turns 30 this year, boasts an impressive slate of new projects, many of them being sold at Berlin’s European Film Market. They include Jim Jarmusch’s vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive, starring Tilda Swindon and John Hurt, which HanWay is selling worldwide; The Congress, an adaptation of a work by Polish sci-fi author Stanislaw Lem by Waltz With Bashir director Ari Folman, starring Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston and Paul Giamatti; and the South Africa-set drama Layla Fourie from German helmer Pia Marais, which features August Diehl and Rayna Campbell. The Match Factory is handling world sales for The Congress and Layla Fourie at Berlin.
Pandora also has boarded My Friend Vijay, the latest from German director Sam Garbarski (Irina Palm), which stars Moritz Bleibtreu as a man, mistakenly declared dead, who decides to go to his own funeral dressed as a Sikh. His joke turns on him when his newly widowed wife, played by Patricia Arquette, starts falling for the mysterious Indian man.
Other titles in Pandora’s typically eclectic lineup include Pioneer, a Norwegian conspiracy thriller from Erik Skjoldbjaerg set at the beginning of the Norwegian gold rush. Skjoldbjaerg directed and wrote the 1997 Norwegian noir Insomnia, which was remade by Christopher Nolan with stars Robin Williams and Al Pacino.
Rounding out Pandora’s slate is Holly Motors, a professional-killer drama from veteran French helmer Leos Carax (Lovers on the Bridge) starring Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Michel Piccoli and Denis Lavant. The company is producing with France’s Pierre Grise Productions.
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