The film by Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma tells the story of a shark that terrifies a holiday resort, but it is not a remake of “Jaws”, assures the duo.
The shortcut is easy, but inevitable, concede Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma. The French twins, however, did not expect so many people to call their film, “The Year of the Shark,” the French-style “Jaws.” However, without having seen the fiction and only reading the pitch, it is difficult not to make a comparison: “The disappearance of a surfer puts the entire Landes coast on alert: a shark is prowling the bay of Arcachon! Maja, a maritime policeman about to take early retirement, jumps at the chance to offer himself one last mission.
“I don’t think we anticipated the fact that when you think of a shark movie, you think of ‘Jaws’, because it may be the only feature film, or one of the only , which is not a Z-series film”, confide the brothers who will present “The Year of the Shark” in preview at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival on July 4, 2022. And the duo insist: “ We are necessarily inspired a little by Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster, but our idea was not to make a remake of it.
In a way, the famous American director even helped the French. It must be said that Spielberg had experienced a good number of galleys during the filming of “Jaws”. “We were able to benefit from some of his mistakes. He had shot in salt water and all of his shark’s electronics had failed because of it. For “The Year of the Shark”, we filmed the underwater scenes in fresh water and we had fewer problems”, they say.
On the casting side, Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma thought of Marina Foïs to play the role of Maja from the writing of the screenplay. The other actors – Kad Merad, Jean-Pascal Zadi and Christine Gautier – were added gradually. Then, the directors looked for non-professional actors from the southwest, their region of origin, for secondary roles. A slightly more complicated job, which generated some unforeseen events during filming, but which interested the twins. “Amateur actors are not necessarily going to put themselves in their marks or will recite their text in a slightly bizarre way and all these strangenesses allow us to create our universe which is a little offbeat”, they indicate.