EXCLUSIVE: Writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour has a late addition to the hot titles unveiling for international buyers in the Cannes market next week. Amirpour, who debuted with the Iranian Vampire Western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and followed with the Venice Special Jury Prize winner The Bad Batch, will next direct Blood Moon. It has the potential to be her breakout effort.
The film, which will be shopped by CAA Media Finance and Rocket Science, is a mind-bending adventure set in the swampy neon-lit streets of New Orleans, and inspired by fantasy-adventure movies of the 1980s and ’90s. At its center is a girl with strange and dangerous abilities who escapes from a mental asylum and rejoins the chaos of modern-day civilization, on the hedonistic streets of the French Quarter.
John Lesher, who won the Oscar for Birdman, is producing through his Le Grisbi Productions banner. He called Amirpour’s vision “a visual odyssey through the underworld of New Orleans. Her singular vision as a director is powerful and will be sure to make this a film not to be missed.”
Amirpour said she sparked to the opportunity to set a tale about an outsider who finds herself bonding with unexpected allies, in the most visceral location she could think of.
“I wanted to tell a stylized fairy tale and in New Orleans you have a specific, unique place where there is so much history and this openly hedonistic debauchery that is led by pleasures of the flesh,” she told Deadline. “I thought that was an interesting place to set a story about a girl who has some disturbing abilities but who isn’t acclimated in any way to society, and learns to be with people in such a chaotic place.”
CAA and Rocket Science will come armed with Amirpour’s script, and suggestions of the signature musical approach she established in her first two films. The film pairs strange, violent and funny cinematic sequences with stellar musical artists, ranging from heavy metal to Italian techno to sexy French lounge music.
Said Rocket Science’s Thorsten Schumacher: “Lily is one of the most promising and radical talents out there and with Blood Moon, she will remind us all of our fascination with cinema in the first place. It’ll be a mind-blowing ride.”