Gilles Lellouche and Rappeneau lined up to attend
French and francophone cinema is celebrated UK-wide in 30 leading cinemas and arts venues from Shetland and Orkney to Southampton via Glasgow, Edinburgh and London on the occasion of the 26th French Film Festival UK which starts this week (7 November to 16 December).
With more than 200 screenings of 50 films the Festival presents an unparalleled selection of French and Francophone cinema,. The 26th edition features a wealth of genres to suit all tastes and impressive performances from an array of stellar names and emerging talents.
Festival goers will have a chance to catch some of the most anticipated movies by first class directors, from Peccadillo’s Woman Up! / Numéro Une, a topical portrait of a woman’s struggle in the corporate world, opening the festival at London Ciné Lumière on 7 November in the presence of director Tonie Marshall, to Jean-Luc Godard’s new experimental opus The Image Book / Le Livre d’image (Mubi) which won a special Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, from Robert Guédiguian’s humanist tale, The House by the Sea / La Villa (New Wave) to Christophe Honoré’s critically acclaimed Sorry Angel / Plaire, aimer et courir vite (Thunderbird Releasing).
Comedy hits include Return of the Hero / Le Retour du héros, starring Jean Dujardin and Mélanie Laurent and Gilles Lellouche’s feel-good comedy-drama
Sink or Swim /Le Grand bain, for which Lellouche will attend the London Ciné Lumière show on 9 Nov). The ensemble comedy made a big splash in Cannes this year and will be released in the UK by Studiocanal. Mega-star Danny Boon offers Family is Family, his follow up to Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis, while Pierre Salvadori delivers a screwball comedy The Trouble With You, set on the Riviera.
One of France’s most awarded movies ever, and giving Gérard Depardieu one of his best roles, Cyrano de Bergerac (14 Nov at London Ciné Lumière in the presence of director Jean-Paul Rappeneau) as well as many other cinemas around the country) shown on a restored print.
Classics are also on the menu with the special screenings of restored prints of Alain Cavalier’s L’Insoumis with Alain Delon, Henri-Georges Clouzot’s La Vérité /The Truth with Brigitte Bardot and Sami Frey.
Several titles have First World War backgrounds to commemorate the centenary of the 1918 Armistice on 11 November, comprising Jean Renoir’s ultimate 1937 war masterpiece, La Grande illusion; Albert Dupontel’s See You Up There; Emmanuel Courcol’s Ceasefire with Romain Duris and Simon Roub’s animation adventure Adama.
First time woman director Marie Monge will attend the Edinburgh Filmhouse screening of Treat Me Like Fire / Joueurs (13 Nov) with Tahar Rahim and Tracy Martin, set in the Parisian gambling underworld while Laetitia Carton will accompany her documentary Le Grand Bal (4 Dec, Edinburgh Summerhall) followed by a dance event in collaboration with Edin/Bal to echo the themes of the film.
France’s gastronomy and wine traditions are celebrated in two documentaries The Quest of Alain Ducasse about the Michelin starred chef and Wine Calling about the movement towards natural wine free of chemicals and regulations.
The Festival organisers have struck partnerships for the first time this year with the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur (Capital of Wallonia in Belgium) and screens two of their selection of Belgian titles Our Struggles by first time director Guillaume Senez, and actor François Damiens’ directorial debut Dany / Mon Ket. A link also has been established with the Paris-based Mobile Film Festival which encourages new talents to compete for various prizes with one-minute short films shot on smart phones or tablets. In addition a separate Shorts Programme will see film-makers interact with University students in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as the public.
Festival director Richard Mowe said: “This is a particularly rich and vibrant edition which reaches to far flung corners of the UK and to different communities in our cities and further afield. There is something for everyone in the selection of a Festival that crosses cultural borders and whose ethos is as inclusive as possible.”
The Festival is supported by: BFI, Creative Scotland, Screen Scotland, Institut français, Wallonie Bruxelles, Alliance française, Total, TV5, Eclair, Air France, media partners The Skinny, and Festival hub Summerhall, among others.
- Bloody Milk by Hubert Charuel
- Little Tickles by Andrea Bescond, Eric Metayer
- Our Struggles by Guillaume Senez
- Ceasefire by Emmanuel Courcol
- Dany by François Damiens
- Sauvage by Camille Vidal Naquet
- Treat Me Like Fire by Marie Monge
- Each and Every Moment by Nicolas Philibert
- The Competition by Claire Simon
- Wine Calling by Bruno Sauvard
- La Quête d’Alain Ducasse by Gilles de Maistre
- Le Grand Bal by Laetitia Carton
- The Image Book by Jean-Luc Godard
- Sorry Angel by Christophe Honoré
- Mrs. Hyde by Serge Bozon
- Promise at Dawn by Eric Barbier
- La Ch’tite Famille by Dany Boon
- Le Portrait Interdit by Charles de Meaux
- See You Up There by Albert Dupontel
- The Red Collar by Jean Becker
- Sink or Swim by Gilles Lellouche
- The House by the Sea bye Robert Guédiguian
- Jealous by David Foenkinos, Stéphane Foenkinos
- At War by Stéphane Brizé
- Rock’n Roll by Guillaume Canet
- A View of Love by Nicole Garcia
- Return of the Hero by Laurent Tirard
- The Trouble with You by Pierre Salvadori
- Comfort and Consolation in France by Vincent Macaigne
- Number One by Tonie Marshall
- The Prayer by Cédric Kahn
- Naked Normandy by Philippe Le Guay
- One Nation, One King by Pierre Schoeller
- To the Ends of the World by Guillaume Nicloux
- When Margaux meets Margaux by Sophie Fillières
- The Freshmen by Thomas Lilti
- A Season in France by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
- Grand Illusion by Jean Renoir
- The Truth by Henri-Georges Clouzot
- Have I the Right to Kill ? by Alain Cavalier
- Cyrano de Bergerac by Jean-Paul Rappeneau
- Yellowbird by Christian de Vita
- Adama by Simon Rouby