Oscar- and Palme d’Or-winning Austrian director Michael Haneke is preparing to shoot his latest film, Happy End, in France’s Calais region next spring. The area, which serves as a ferry port for transport to the UK, has made headlines this year as the refugee crisis has escalated. A series of camps there has been dubbed the “Calais Jungle.” Haneke’s film, news of which was first reported by regional paper La Voix Du Nord, is understood have immigration as one of its key themes, although it is not the main focus. Paris-based Les Films du Losange, founded by Haneke’s regular collaborator Margaret Menegoz, confirmed to Deadline that it is co-producing.
Jean-Louis Trintignant and Isabelle Huppert, who both appeared in Haneke’s Oscar winner Amour, are starring, according to AFP. A spokesperson for the regional film support body told the agency, “It’s a Haneke film, so it will of course be about family. We’ll recognize his world, with excessive characters.”
Haneke was one of about 5,500 film industry professionals who participated in an appeal to the EU last October titled “For a Thousand Lives: Be Human.” The petition called on European leaders to take action to help refugees and, among other things, to offer “legal ways for people fleeing war, terror, or political persecution to seek protection in the EU by setting up infrastructures in their countries of origin, and in third party countries, where they can apply for asylum. This will stop forcing them to take illegal routes and risk their lives.”