‘Anatomy of a Fall’ Producer David Thion Teases Upcoming Projects With Daring Female Directors, Including Justine Triet’s Next Film (EXCLUSIVE)

David Thion, the French producer of Justine Triet’s best picture contender “Anatomy of a Fall,” is preparing a raft of projects helmed by daring female directors including Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet (“Anais in Love”) and Emily Atef (“More Than Ever”).

Speaking to Variety ahead of the Oscars, Thion said he and Marie-Ange Luciani, who also produced “Anatomy of a Fall,” have also signed Triet for her next movie, the topic of which hasn’t been decided yet.

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“Justine has devoted herself fully to the awards campaign for ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ and she hasn’t had time to decide what her next film will be, but she has a few ideas,” Thion said. He added that Triet’s next film will likely be “mainly shot in French, but could have an Anglo-Saxon actress as the lead.”

Bourgeois-Tacquet, who made her feature debut with “Anais in Love,” which premiered at Cannes’ Critics Week, will reteam with Thion and his Paris-based banner Les Films Pelleas on her sophomore outing “La vie d’une femme.”

Thion said the film will portray the life of a female surgeon between the ages of 50 and 60, adding that the helmer was also interested in having a public hospital as a backdrop for the movie. The main character, Gabrielle, is a surgeon specializing in reconstructive surgery. While developing the project, Bourgeois-Tacquet had several encounters with Chloe Bertolus, a renown surgeon whose patients have included Philippe Lançon, a survivor of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.

“The film will show how this woman juggles a stressful career in a male-dominated professional field, where so much is at stake, while also trying to have a fulfilling personal life,” Thion said. Drawing a parallel with Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World,” the producer said “La vie d’une femme” will chronicle key chapters of this woman’s life. Bertolus was “a sort of consultant” on the project to help Bourgeois-Tacquet convey the reality of her work and daily routine at the hospital, Thion said.

The film is expected to start filming this fall and will be presented in international markets by Be for Film. Haut et Court (“The Night of the 12th”) will distribute it in France.

Other projects on Thion’s roster include Atef’s English-language debut “Mercy,” which is based on Lara Santoro’s novel of the same name and revolves around the powerful bond between an American war correspondent in Kenya and a local woman from the slums who unite to fight the AIDS crisis in the country in 1999.

“It’s a beautiful project and a necessary one to give a voice to women in Kenya and Africa where AIDS is still very much a reality,” Thion said. The film, currently in its final financing stages, is is being produced by Gian-Piero Ringel at Ringel Film, Catherine Townsend and Charles Steel at Cowboy Films and Alexandra Stone at Streetcar Productions, along with Thion.

Les Films Pelleas’ slate of films in post-production also includes Christophe Honoré’s “Marcello Mio,” starring Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve and Melvil Poupaud. The movie is represented in international markets by MK2 Films. Other anticipated titles produced by Thion include Karim Moussaoui’s (“Waiting For Swallows”) “The Vanishing” which charts the journey of a young Algerian man from an upper class family who becomes increasingly alienated by his authoritative father and implodes.

The French producer has several other festival-friendly movies in post, notably Guillaume Senez’s “A Missing Part,” a Tokyo-set drama starring French actor Romain Duris (who has French and Japanese dialogue) as a father who reunites with his daughter after being separating for many years;” and “Mon inseparable,” a mother-and-son drama starring “Call My Agent!” breakthrough actor Laure Calamy, and directed by Anne-Sophie Bailly whose short “The Midwife” played at last year’s Telluride.

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