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Behind the scenes of Berlinale opener: Nobody Wants the Night

With acclaimed Spanish director Isabel Coixet’s film Nobody Wants the Night opening the 65th Berlin Film Festival, we decided to take a look at how, when and where the feature was produced. 

A period drama written by Miguel Barros, the film centres on two women who are both in love with the same American explorer, struggling to survive in Greenland in 1908.

Juliette Binoche and Rinki Kikuchi take the lead, with Irish actor Gabriel Byrne playing the American.

Shooting got underway last spring, starting in the remote Western village of Finse. The stunning area has been a film location for some time, having stood in for many inhospitable, film-unfriendly places such as Siberia, the South and North Pole, Northwest Passage and, perhaps most famously, the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. The area is snow secure until late May, and could therefore easily play the role of Greenland.

After a stint in Finse, the production then moved onto Bulgaria’s massive studios facility, Nu Boyana, where they shot until late June, before moving on to the Canary Islands to complete the shoot in Tenerife.

The film could not be much more international: a co-production between SpainFrance and Bulgaria, shot in English and with a Spanish director in charge of three main actors from France, Japan and Ireland respectively.

As Nu Boyana Film Studios CEO Yariv Lerner puts it: “The production of Nobody Wants the Night was a seamless collaboration that connected three countries."

Spanish production giant and service provider MediaPro played a vital role in the co-production, as did producer Andres Santana’s production shingle Ariane & Garoe. Also involved from the Spanish end were Neo Art Producciones. France fielded Noodles Production and producer Jerome Vidal, while for the Bulgaria side of things there was producer Ariel Illief of One More Movie. To top it off, Norwegian production services company VPB Media were also on board.

Ilieff was instrumental in getting the production to Bulgaria, where 70% of the feature would eventually be filmed. The producer had the idea of using Nu Boyana and brought Santana to see the facility, which satisfied all the needs of the production team and allowed the building of some of the main movie locations in one of the studio's soundstages - no less than 1800 sq.m in size.

Another contributing factor was that the production designer on the film, Alain Bainée, had worked at the studio before on Stonehearst Asylum (with Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine), and had been extremely impressed with the work of the art department there; the studio-based craftsmen ended up making many of the film's props. In total, 270 local crew worked on the shoot of Nobody Wants the Night in Bulgaria.

Nobody Wants the Night will be opening the Berlin Film Festival on 5 February. 
 

From the 6 to the 9 February some of the KFTV team will be visiting the EFM at the Berlinale Film Festival. If you want to meet up, contact skeegan (at) wilmington.co.uk.

 




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