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Lafosse’s The White Knights will at last be unveiled at Toronto

SCREEN August 17, 2015 | By Aurore Engelen

The highly anticipated sixth feature film by Joachim Lafosse will take part in the brand-new competitive section of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Ever since it first began, Joachim Lafosse’s career has been growing at the same pace as the international festivals that regularly select his works. His first two features, Private Madness and What Makes You Happy, were picked for the Locarno Film Festival. His third film, Private Property, was in competition at Venice. His subsequent movie, Private Lessons, was accepted into the Directors’ Fortnight, and in 2012, Loving Without Reason earned Emilie Dequenne the Best Actress Award in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Competition.

And yet another prestigious rendezvous is about to expand Lafosse’s prize list. The Toronto Film Festival is considered one of the most important film gatherings in the world, particularly thanks to its being a window to the North American market. It often also represents the first stopover in a film’s international run, taking in myriad festivals.

The White Knights, which was shot in Morocco’s Erfoud region, is based on the case involving Zoé’s Ark that hit the headlines in 2007. The story, written by Joachim Lafosse, Thomas Van Zuylen and Bulle Decarpentries, explores "the limits and the complexities of humanitarian intervention in Africa". In the movie, Vincent Lindon plays the charismatic manager of the NGO, while Valérie Donzelli plays a journalist who has come to observe an operation aiming to extract 300 orphans, who are victims of the civil war in western Sudan. They are joined by such names as Louise Bourgoin and Reda Kateb, in addition to a very Belgian cast of actors who frequently make an appearance in Lafosse’s films, including Stéphane Bissot, Yannick Renier and Catherine Salée.

With international sales being handled by Indie Sales, the movie will be distributed by O’Brother distribution in Belgium and by Le Pacte in France. The theatrical release is slated for January 2016. The White Knights is a co-production between Versus Production (Belgium) and Les films du Worso (France), together with France 3 Cinéma, BNP Paribas Fortis Film Finance, Le Pacte, Prime Time, RTBF and Proximus. It sees the participation of Canal+, Ciné+ and France Télévisions, and backing is also being provided by the CCA, Wallimage and the VAF.

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