The Red Sea International Film Festival has announced its founding behind French director Maïwenn’s period drama Jeanne du Barryin which she co-stars as 18th century courtesan Madame du Barry opposite Johnny Depp as King Louis XV.
A first image of Maïwenn in character alongside Depp as Louis XV was also revealed internationally, having been released to the French press earlier in January. pictures in character Depp were first teased over the summer.
Since its creation in 2019, the Red Sea Film Foundation has supported the development, production and post-production of 170 films from the Arab world and Africa. Jeanne du Barry marks the first international co-production with France.
Filmed in France and currently in post-production, Jeanne du Barry is Maïwenn’s sixth feature which she also co-wrote with Teddy Lussi-Modeste and Nicolas Livecchi.
The ambitious drama is loosely inspired by the life of Jeanne du Barry, Louis XV’s last royal mistress at the Court of Versailles, after Madame de Pompadour.
Born into poverty, she is a young working-class woman thirsty for culture and pleasure who uses her wit and charm to climb the rungs of the social ladder one by one.
She becomes the favorite companion of Louis XV. Unaware of her status as a partner, he regains his zest for life through their relationship. They fall madly in love. Against all decency and etiquette, Jeanne moves to Versailles, where her arrival scandalizes the court.
The film also stars Pierre Richard, Benjamin Lavernhe, Noémie Lvovsky, Melvil Poupaud, India Hair and Pascal Greggory.
The film was acquired by Netflix for France following a local cinema release by Le Pacte, and is produced by Pascal Caucheteux of Why Not Production Company and Grégoire Sorlat of Johnny Depp’s production company IN.2, La Petite Reine and of France Télévisions, with the Red Sea. Film Festival as executive producers and Wild Bunch International as sales agent.
“We are excited to support Maïwenn’s upcoming feature Jeanne du Barry,said Red Sea CEO Mohammed Al Turki. “This is a film we were immediately interested in, an incredibly unique and ambitious biographical feature and a testament to our commitment to supporting new talent and working with world-class writers, directors and producers. We hope that this collaboration will strengthen the ties between Saudi and French cinema and is the first of many international films we can support these advocates of female filmmakers.”
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