Love on strike at the Grand Théâtre Lumière

Radu Mihaileanu © AFP

In his thirty years of career, Radu Mihaileanu has won eighteen prizes. He is selected for the first time In Competition at Cannes with The Source an Oriental fable worthy of A Thousand and One Nights.

Every day, the village women climb up the mountain to collect water at the source with their yoke across their shoulder. It has been this way since the dawn of time, until the day that they decide to break the mould. From that moment they decide to withdraw all sexual favours and will carry on until things change.

In this imaginary village, far from all prejudice, Radu Mihaileanu packs the whole culture of the arab-muslim woman of the world. What is really her role? How does she live? A long period of documentation was necessary for the director of Concert and Va, vis et deviens in order to write his cinematographic fable. “We went to meet women from villages like ours: they told us a mass of stories. We made real friends, discovered a wealth of riches.”
The Source is an ode to women. It celebrates beauty and freedom, “it’s a cry of love from women to me saying, ‘love us and look at us!'” In the skin of his women we find Leïla Bekhti in the role of Leïla, who is at the origin of the village’s protest, accompanied by Hafsia Herzi, également vue en Compétition dans House of Tolerance.

Equipe La source des femmes 2011 Cannes


The story takes place in current times, in a small village somewhere between North Africa and the Middle East. The women fetch water from a mountaintop spring in the blazing sun. They’ve done that since the beginning of time. Leila, a young bride, urges the women to launch a love strike: no more cuddling, no more sex until the men run water into the village.
Quote of the Day

The great crisis of humanity is the crisis of love. I see humanity as paralysed by fear and a lack of trust: people are turning in on themselves, harbouring self-love, and have lost interest in what others are feeling.
Radu Mihaileanu, director of The Source.

Hiam Abbas Hafsia Herzi Leila Bekhti Photocall La source des femmes


Radu Mihaileanu: “We chose to bet on the chance that women would be the ones to bring change”

Radu Mihaileanu © AFP
Radu Mihaileanu gave a press conference for his film La Source des femmes (The Source). With him were actresses Leïla Bekhti, Hafsia Herzi, Biyouna, Sabrina Ouzani and Hiam Habbass, and actors Mohamed Majd and Saleh Bakri.Radu Mihaileanu’s film echoes the revolutions in the Arab world:
These revolutions represent a huge step forward. We wrote the film with the same sort of intentions, and we bet on the chance that women would be the ones to bring change, not simply throughout the world but especially in the Muslim world.Radu Mihaileanu on the way he chose to show the village in the film:
The main character in the film is the village. It was amazing, with ochre colours, that earth… it needed just a little bit of colour. We made the decision to borrow from the culture of all the Arab countries without betraying the unity of the Arab-Berber Moroccan whole. We used blues, yellows, oranges. The light was kind to all of the colours, the ochre, the walls, and skin tones as well.Hafsia Herzi on her two roles in Apollonide and The Source:
These are both women’s films; the two films talk about a similar subject and paint a beautiful portrait of women. They both have love and sex. I played two very different characters. In Radu’s film, I’m a young, unmarried woman and I get in on the love strike. In Bertrand Bonello’s film, I play a prostitute, a far cry from a love strike!

Leila Bekhti Radu Mihaileanu Sabrina Ouazani La source des femmes



Press kit download (PDF)








Contacts and useful links


ELZEVIR FILMS Paris – France T : +33 (0)1 55 31 27 42 – laetitia.pichon@elzevirfilms.frwww.elzevirfilms.fr OÏ OÏ OÏ PRODUCTIONS Paris – France T : +33 (0)1 43 57 00 11 – oioioiproductions@noos.fr EUROPACORP (FRANCE) FRANCE 3 CINÉMA (FRANCE) AGORA FILMS (MAROC) CIE CINÉMATOGRAPHIQUE EUROPÉENNE (BELGIQUE) INDIGO FILM /// BIM DISTRIBUZIONE (ITALIE)


EUROPACORP DISTRIBUTION – T : +33 (0)1 53 83 03 03 – pkaempf@europacorp.comwww.europacorp.com

French press

François Hassan Guerrar – Melody Bénistant – T : +33 (0)1 43 59 48 02 – guerrar.contact@gmail.com

International press

Vanessa Jerrom, Claire Vorger – T : +33 (0)1 42 97 42 47 – vanessajerrom@wanadoo.fr


Emir Kusturica Andreas Dresen Kim Ki-Duk Prize Un certain regard Ex-aequo Cannes 2011







© FIF/Thibaud Morin

Un Certain Regard 2011 presented 21 films directed by 22 directors hailing from 19 different countries. 2 of the works were first films.

Presided over by Emir KUSTURICA (Director, actor and musician – Serbia), the Jury was comprised of: Elodie BOUCHEZ (Actress – France), Peter BRADSHAW (Critic-The Guardian – United Kingdom), Geoffrey GILMORE (Chief Creative Officer-Tribeca Enterprises – USA), Daniela MICHEL (Director of the Morelia Festival – Mexico).

HALT AUF FREIER STRECKE (Stopped on Track) by Andreas DRESEN


BÉ OMID É DIDAR (Au revoir) by Mohammad RASOULOF




“Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da” journey to the heart of the steppes


'Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da'  journey to the heart of the steppes

Nuri Bilge Ceylan © AFP

Nuri Bilge Ceylan is back at Cannes in Competition with Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia). The Turkish director, who was a member of the Feature Film Jury in 2009, has, as always, participated at all stages of the making of his new film.

Director, screenwriter, editor and producer, Nuri Bilge Ceylan has once again put all his energies into his new film Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia). In his latest feature film, he weaves an intrigue focused on the tense relationship between a lawyer and a doctor living in the Anatolian Steppes. The action takes place in Asia Minor, in a volcanic territory bordered by mountain chains. As an admirer of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, he has painted the Steppes of the Anatolie region: with the impression that something “new and unexpected” can emerge from behind each mountain, but it’s inevitably the same long and monotonous paths which disappear or carry on, ineluctably the same.

As usual, he uses non-professional actors, Muhammet Uzuner having had his first experience of cinema with the role of the doctor. The director also surrounded himself with friends and family to keep him going during the conception of his film. His wife, Ebru Ceylan worked with him on the script, as in 2006, when she acted in his feature film Climates, selected In Competition. Nuri Bilge Ceylan has had his films presented regularly at Cannes, he received the Grand Prix du Jury for Uzak in 2003 and the Prix de la Mise en Scène for Three Monkeys in 2008.


Nuri Bilge Ceylan : “I do everything through instinct”



Nuri Bilge Ceylan : 'I do everything through instinct'

Nuri Bilge Ceylan © AFP

The director Nuri Bilge Ceylan came to talk about his film Bir zamanlar anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia). He was accompanied by the producer, Zeynep Ozbatur Ataka, the actors, Yilmaz Erdögan, Taner Birsel, Muhammet Uzuner, Taner Birsel and Ercan Kesal (who also worked on the script), the scriptwriter, Ebru Ceylan, and the cameraman, Gökhan Tiryaki.
Ercan Kesal on his transition from scriptwriter to one of the film’s actors

“During the writing of the script, we didn’t think about the actors, only about the storyline. I knew the world of bureaucracy very well. It was only after the scriptwriting was over that I really got into the part of the character.”
The director on his characters

“No one is wholly good or bad. When I create a character, I try to achieve a balance. It must always be possible to think that a character is just like yourself. Never just “somebody else”.
The cameraman on natural lighting

“Nuri pays very close attention to how things are in real life. He decided to use the moonlight, but it wasn’t enough. It occurred to us that a helium balloon could reproduce the same type of light… but that didn’t work either! This really was a very challenging film to make.”
The director´s way of working

“I do everything through instinct. I don´t do a shooting script. (…) I do, however, really like wide-angle views. The vastness of the shot calls to mind our place on Earth.”



Interview with Jude Law

Jude Law © CR

The English actor and producer Jude Law had already been in Cannes in 2007 to present the film by  Wong Kar Waï, My Blueberry Nights, which opened the 60th Festival de Cannes. This year, he is back as a member of the Feature Film Jury.
He agrees to an interview with all the charm he is famous for.

How did you feel when the Festival asked you to be a member of the Jury and what did you expect?

I was obviously incredibly thrilled, excited, and as with anything you haven’t done before, a little bit nervous. Every day has really exceeded my expectations; I’m really having one of the best experiences in my life. It’s incredibly important, moving to me, to have an opportunity to really focus and embrace films as an art form, and to have the responsibility to sit and discuss it with wonderful people, watching films from all around the world, with an incredible diversity. It’s a reminder of how powerful, important and special this medium is. I’m lucky.

You played in Gattaca with Uma Thurman in 1997. As she is also a jury member, do you have an anecdote about your work together?
It was one of my first films, quite a long time ago! It was my first film in America, in Hollywood. Uma and Ethan were already very established actors in the world. My strongest memory is driving around in beautiful cars with these two incredible people, feeling that I was in the fantasy, the cliché that everyone has about making films in Hollywood. They were both wonderfully caring with me, and helped me with my inexperience.

What do you think the Festival can bring or should bring to cinema?

It’s a very important festival. Aside from the parties, the glamour and the business that is done here, what I’ve learned this year is that it’s a celebration of the art form, a reminder that this can be a ground-breaking, challenging art form that speaks a universal language. It’s storytelling and it’s most complex, it’s really asking the biggest question we can ask. We always needed stories, we always needed our imagination explained in some way, whether we’re sitting around a camp fire or now, sitting in the Palais watching cinema.
Being part of this jury, with artists from all around the world, does it make you think of doing films with foreign filmmakers?
Absolutely! I’ve learned so much about directors I didn’t know about. I’ve always had an aspiration to make a film in another language.  With French it would probably be the most obvious, because I speak a little French; my parents live here so I have an opportunity to learn it better, to improve it. Work in another language could be a real inspiration, an opportunity to push myself. It would be a great experience.

What made you want to make films?
I was just a huge fan of films, I loved it. I loved the physical proximity of being somewhere dark, being told a story. And I always enjoyed being part of storytelling.
What is your first film memory?

Watching, I think, a Charlie Chaplin film. My father used to project it on the wall at parties. That’s a very strong film memory. And Harold Lloyd.
There are many films I can watch over and over. To name two:  I love Ladri di Biciclette and Cool Hand Luke

You also play on stage in London?
I started performing on stage first. I didn’t make a film before my early twenties. And I never really thought of working in films because where I grew up in London,  it felt like something that was done somewhere else. Even though I loved it, I didn’t feel a part of that culture.
Theatre, to me, is a place where I have always felt comfortable expressing myself. I love the demands it puts on you as an actor, so alive, and I love the opportunity of the sort of magic, once the curtain goes up, that you must see it through to the end, that nothing can stop it. I love the opportunity you have to rediscover it every night, with a different group, the atmosphere, the mood… Everything can affect your performance. It’s a really important medium for me.

What are your projects to come?

I’m doing a play by Eugene O’Neill called “Anna Christie” at the Donmar Warehouse in London this summer, that opens in August. And then I’m doing a film with Joe Wright: “Anna Karenina”.

What inspires you ?

My children, and fellow film makers, artists….

You like passing on your love of cinema to your children?
I love showing my children films. And I love hearing from them what films they’ve seen.
At the moment, I’m living a very particular time because my oldest son is fourteen, so I’m showing him films that I saw around this age, where I really started to fall in love with cinema. It’s the opportunity to introduce him to great filmmakers who inspired me. It’s wonderful, a great lesson. To show a film, explain what it says for you, what kind of feelings it brings, is a great gift.

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