Omar Sy, Gaumont Television reunite for war drama feature ‘Father & Soldier’

Los Angeles, Oct 27: French star Omar Sy is re-teaming with Gaumont Television, the production house behind his blockbuster Netflix series “Lupin”, for World War I action-drama film “Father & Soldier”.
The story about family bonds and Africa’s forgotten war heroes opens during the First World War, in 1917, in the French colony of Senegal.
According to Variety, the film is being directed by Mathieu Vadepied, who made his directorial debut with French film “Learn by Heart”, which had its world premiere at Cannes’ Critics Week.
Previously, Vadepied worked as the artistic director and cinematographer on the French buddy comedy “The Intouchables”, directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano which marked Sy’s breakthrough and earned him a best Cesar nod.
In “Father & Soldier”, Sy stars as Bakary, a father who enlists in the army to stick by Thierno, his 17-year-old son, who was recruited against his will. Together, father and son must fight the First World War in the trenches in France. Thierno is ready to sacrifice his life to fight for France, a country he knows little about. His father, meanwhile, sets off to protect him at all costs.
The upcoming film is produced by Bruno Nahon’s Unite, the banner behind “A Good Doctor” and Sy’s production vehicle Korokoro. Gaumont is co-producing “Father & Soldier”, as well as handling international sales.
Sy said this film is coming together at a time in his life where he feels an urge to connect the cultures and histories of two countries which saw him grow up — as a producer, alongside Unite, and as an actor — in order to pay tribute to these deserving men.
“I’m touched that this film is being produced out of France with Senegal as a co-production country, with the support of France’s National Film Board and FOPICA (the Senegalese film board), and I feel happy that this film has received the unwavering support of France Televisions, Canal Plus, as well as Gaumont and Sidonie Dumas to whom I’m addressing a wink because we have such a beautiful history together, since ‘Untouchables’ and ‘Chocolat’,” added the actor-producer.
Vadepied co-wrote the film with Olivier Demangel, whose credits include Mati Diop’s Cannes prize-winning “Atlantics”.
Alexis Cassanet, Gaumont executive VP of international sales and distribution, said “Father & Soldier” sheds a light on unsung heroes of the great war while tackling universal themes such as family bonds in wartime.
“We’re very proud to accompany Omar Sy (in) coming to the big screen with a project that is close to his heart and is being directed by the talented Mathieu Vadepied,” said Cassanet.
Maryvonne Le Meur and Caroline Nataf are credited as associate producers. Sy Possible Africa, Milles Soleil, Gaumont, France 3 Cinema, Canal Plus and Cine Plus are attached as co-producers.
The film is currently under production in France and will next shoot in Senegal. (PTI)