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Molières, Césars and... the Barrière Foundation

The Molières and César awards are nearly upon us, and everyone in the business of designing and putting on shows is getting ready for the awards season.  On the agenda for 2019, the Barrière Foundation will be seeing the name of another of its winners up in lights. This time, it’s in the prestigious Césars category.
On the big screen, the film "Les Chatouilles" by Andréa Bescond and Eric Métayer (Barrière Foundation winners in 2018) is nominated in five categories: twice for Best Supporting Role (Karine Viard and Clovis Cornillac), as well as Best First Film, Best Adaptation and Best Editing. "Les Chatouilles" is a tough film, unearthing hidden violence in scenes that don’t tolerate silence. Or - worse - indifference.

Since 1999, the Barrière Foundation has been providing its committed and fitting support to encourage artistic creation in new talent (*). And not without a certain amount of gut feeling. So it is that THE play that everyone is talking about – the exhilarating "Edmond" by Alexis Michalik (honoured by the Foundation in 2016) bagged no fewer than five Molières the following year, including Best Private Theatre Show, Best Supporting Role (Pierre Forest), Best Male Newcomer (Guillaume Sentou), Best Living French-speaking Writer and Best Director of a Private Theatre Show. Then, with over 700 performances to its name, and now playing at the Théâtre du Palais Royal in Paris until September, followed by a tour, "Edmond" is moving on to another brilliant career in the cinema, still led by writer Alexis Michalik, with a film that has already attracted an audience of 500,000 people in France.

Staying with the theatre, another nod from the Barrière Foundation: "Adieu Monsieur Haffmann" by Jean-Philippe Daguerre. A winner in 2017, the show remains in residence at the Théâtre Rive Gauche in Paris until 31st March and then goes on tour – and will also be adapted for the cinema by Fred Cavayé. The film is being co-written with Sarah Kaminsky and will be co-produced by Philippe Rousselet (Vendôme) and Vanessa Djian (Daidai Films). It scooped four Molières in 2018: Best Female Newcomer (Julie Cavanna), Best Actor (Franck Desmedt), Best Private Theatre Show, and Best Living French-speaking Writer. The next play by Jean-Philippe Daguerre, "La Famille Ortiz" will be produced by Atelier Théâtre Actuel in Avignon this summer.

Bringing on new talent before it emerges into the spotlight is something the Barrière Foundation has been doing for twenty years. "It nurtures, highlights and encourages the blossoming of new talent”, reports its delighted President, Dominique Desseigne. “We’re with them every step of the way until they achieve public recognition". Adding: "As we do with “Scènes Barrière" at our casinos, hosting around 3,000 shows and events every year." That’s how the Foundation plays its own special role, in a partnership that starts behind the scenes and culminates when the curtain finally goes up.

(*) €8,000 for the writer (who has not released more than three works for a public audience) and €23,000 for the show promotion. Selections are made by a panel of actors, writers and critics once a year.