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French Film Festival 2017

Please see below for a list of films featured in this years French Film Festival.

 

The Odyssey - Opening Film





Rating: TBC
Director: Jérôme Salle
Summer, 1946. The Cousteau family live in their beautiful house by the Mediterranean Sea. By day they go diving, by night they watch the stars. It's paradise on earth. But Jacques is never content. He lives and breathes adventure and believes absolutely in the virtues of progress. With his invention, the aqualung, his recently acquired vessel the Calypso, and a crew of free-spirited adventurers, he is ready to cross the world's oceans. Ten years later, back from boarding school, Jacques's son Philippe finds his father greatly altered – an international celebrity with megalomaniac dreams of grafting gills to humans and creating underwater cities. Despite their mutual love and admiration, violent conflict between these two passionate men is inevitable. This high-profile biopic of the legendary French underwater explorer is based on books about Cousteau as well as testimony gathered by Jérôme Salle and his team. "Nothing was spared in Salle's attempt to bring Cousteau's life to the screen, with complex underwater work and plentiful location shooting; production designer Laurence Ott has enjoyed himself and the results are often more than handsome." Fionnuala Halligan, Screen Daily Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Sunday 05 Mar 201718:45     

Chocolat





Rating: TBC
Director: Roschdy Zem
Roschdy Zem's film follows former slave Rafael Padilla (Omar Sy) as he unexpectedly becomes one of the most famous circus stars of the Belle Époque era in France. After performing as a clown in small country shows, Padilla is discovered by respected British entertainer George Foottit (James Thierree) and moves to Paris. Despite tensions between them, the pair quickly form a successful partnership and become one of the main attractions of the city's Nouveau Cirque. However, as the pressures of fame begin to take their toll, Padilla struggles with regular racial discrimination and a growing gambling addiction which threaten to ruin his career. "The clown known as Chocolat, a former Afro-Cuban slave, was a fixture of Belle Époque Paris. Toulouse Lautrec painted him — often in ugly caricature as a monkey — the Lumière Brothers filmed him and Jean Cocteau and Colette wrote about him. The first black performer to become a major popular hit in France and a key figure in its awakening as a multicultural nation, he died in poverty in 1917 and his memory faded. This box-office hit has helped restore his legacy." The New York Times Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Sunday 05 Mar 201721:30     

Human - Lord Mayor's Screening





Rating: TBC
Director: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
"I am one man among seven billion others. For the past 40 years, I have been photographing our planet and its human diversity, and I have the feeling that humanity is not making any progress. We can't always manage to live together. Why is that? I didn't look for an answer in statistics or analysis, but in man himself." Yann Arthus-Bertrand HUMAN is a collection of stories and images of our world, offering an insight into what it means to be human. A politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence. Language: Various languages with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Monday 06 Mar 201718:00     

Personal Shopper





Rating: TBC
Director: Olivier Assayas
Following their previous collaboration on the acclaimed Clouds Of Sils Maria, Kristen Stewart reunites with director Olivier Assayas to play Maureen, a medium working in Paris as a personal shopper for a megalomaniacal A-list celebrity. Bored and frustrated by her job, Maureen only remains in France in an attempt to reach the spirit of her recently deceased twin brother. As time goes by, contact looks increasingly unlikely, until Maureen begins to receive strange text messages from an unknown source. Part sleek fashionista drama, part chilly murder mystery, part bewitching supernatural horror story, this elegant arthouse head-scratcher escapes easy definition and is an absolute pleasure to watch. Give yourself over to its secrets and prepare to be hypnotised. "Personal Shopper is an uncategorisable – yet undeniably terrifying – drama about a fashion PA trying to exorcise herself of her dead twin." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian Language: English

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Monday 06 Mar 201721:15     

After Love





Rating: TBC
Director: Joachim Lafosse
After 15 years of living together, Marie (Bérénice Bejo) and Boris (Cédric Kahn) decide to get a divorce but the separation proves far from simple. Boris can't afford to move out until the house in which they live with their two daughters has been sold. But while Marie bought the house, it was Boris who completely renovated it, hugely increasing its market value. Unable to agree on how to divide the proceeds, they soon find themselves at an impasse in which all of their frustrations, resentments and grievances start to mingle with feelings of past affection. Underpinned by a razor-sharp script, After Love is also endowed with two of the year’s finest screen performances, with Bérénice Bejo (The Artist, The Past) displaying a stunning level of dramatic range and depth. "Intelligent, compassionate, challenging film-making." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian "A superbly acted, unapologetically adult exploration of a relationship atrophied." Wendy Ide, The Observer Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Tuesday 07 Mar 201718:30     

Polina - Premiere





Rating: TBC
Director: Angelin Preljocaj, Valérie Muller-Preljocaj
Moscow, early 90s. Polina, aged 8, is a gifted ballerina. From a modest background she joins the prestigious school of Professor Bojinsky, who trains dancers for the Bolshoi. He immediately grasps her tremendous potential and makes her work so hard that at only 18 her dream finally comes true and she enters the prestigious Bolshoi. This is when she meets Adrien, a charming French dancer. He will help her to discover not only love but, more importantly, a new form of dance, more contemporary and expressive, a kind of dance that will change her life forever. From Moscow to Aix-En-Provence and Antwerp, from success to disillusion, we follow Polina's incredible destiny. "Dance isn't just a performance, but a language that actors should master", says French director and choreographer Angelin Preljocaj. "It's important for actors to practice dancing. When actors are not talking, their bodies are talking. Dancing helps sharpen your emotions." Language: French and Russian with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Tuesday 07 Mar 201721:00     

The Unknown Girl





Rating: TBC
Director: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
Rising French actor Adèle Haenel (Water Lilies, Les Combattants) stars as Jenny Davin, a talented doctor who refuses to open the door to a mysterious late-night caller. The next morning, she learns that the caller was a girl who has been found dead, and that the police have no way of identifying her. Shocked and guilt-stricken, Jenny resolves to discover the name of the young girl so that she will not be buried anonymously. Playing intelligently with the traits of traditional detective drama, The Unknown Girl is another characteristically engaging social commentary from the two-time Palme d'Or winning Dardenne brothers - and a morally astute and compelling investigation of personal responsibility, justice and compassion. "Another quietly powerful masterpiece… A Wholly gripping narrative told with understated eloquence." Saskia Baron, The Arts Desk Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Wednesday 08 Mar 201718:30     

Parisienne





Rating: TBC
Director: Danielle Arbid
Actress Manal Issa, star of Parisienne will present the screening. Lina, 19, arrives in Paris during the 90's. She is alone and lost. With nothing but fear and her natural instinct for self-preservation, she is looking for something she has never found in her home country of Lebanon: freedom. Although sometimes afraid, Lina is also intrepid, adventurous, confident, independent, and breathtakingly self-possessed. In this semi-autobiographical drama from France-based Lebanese director Danielle Arbid, newcomer Manal Issa gives a mesmerizing, intense and multifaceted performance for what's ultimately a coming-of-age story, while French acting veteran Dominique Blanc is wonderful in his supporting role as a professor who has a way with words. "Lina's story has a universal scope: it speaks to all foreign-born French people as well as to adolescents trying to find their place in the world they’re living in." Annie Ernaux Language: French and Arabic with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Wednesday 08 Mar 201721:00     

Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)





Rating: TBC
Director: Eva Husson
Eva Husson's intense, confident debut feature follows the fortunes of a group of Biarritz high-school students after they start a private orgy society. The teens seem to have created their own earthly paradise of total liberation, but matters soon prove more complex. Dazzlingly shot and the work of a true stylist, Bang Gang on one level resembles a French version of Larry Clark's Kids, but with a specifically female point of view and updated for the age of internet sex and revenge porn. At once celebratory, libidinously lawless and with an edge of sober social critique, Bang Gang is one of the most striking French debuts in ages – and is certainly one of the most controversial. "Director Eva Husson spins the bottle with a group of French teens searching for meaning in mindless sex – and explains how she related to their lives." Alex Godfrey, The Guardian Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Thursday 09 Mar 201718:30     

In Bed with Victoria - Premiere





Rating: TBC
Director: Justine Triet
Victoria Spick is a beautiful Parisian criminal lawyer in her late 30s; sex-addict, workaholic, self-centered, and a love life going nowhere. Invited to a wedding reception she meets Vincent, her handsome, but unambitious friend, David, her ex-husband and Sam, a former drug dealer who she helped out of a sticky situation. The next day, Vincent is accused of attempted murder by his girlfriend. The victim's dog is the only witness. Reluctantly, Victoria accepts to defend Vincent, while she hires Sam as an au pair. This is just the beginning of troubled times for Victoria. An hilarious and tender comedy à la française, critically acclaimed in Cannes. "A chaotic mid-life crisis comedy anchored by a vibrant lead performance." Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Thursday 09 Mar 201721:15     

The White Knights





Rating: TBC
Director: Joachim Lafosse
In an unnamed African country, the Move For Kids organisation (based on Zoe's Ark) is officially established to rescue orphans and provide them with a new life in France. Led by Jacques (Vincent Lindon), it soon becomes apparent that the organisation’s motives behind saving the orphans are not always honourable. As the line between humanitarian assistance and human trafficking becomes increasingly blurred, we are left wondering who to root for. Provocative, disturbing yet hopeful, the film features standout performances and a gripping script. "A shrewd look at the refugee crisis, and based on the real-life Zoe's Ark controversy, Joachim Lafosse's bitter drama is about an NGO in Chad that crosses the line between do-gooding and kidnapping." The Guardian

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Friday 10 Mar 201718:30     

Heal the Living - Preview Screening





Rating: TBC
Director: Katell Quillévéré
When an accident leaves a young man in a coma, doctors must gauge whether his parents are willing to consider a heart transplant, while elsewhere a woman (Anne Dorval) waits to see whether she will be given a new chance of life. This powerfully humane film is about individuals but also about how a compassionate health system works (note: graphic surgical scenes) as well as how our flesh-and-blood make-up ultimately connects us all. A terrific cast including Emmanuelle Seigner, Tahar Rahim and Bouli Lanners contributes to a film that addresses the heart and the brain with equal intelligence. "The tears are inevitable in Heal the Living, and for once, they feel like they’ve been earned." Sam Gray, The Upcoming Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Friday 10 Mar 201721:00     

Short Films Programme





Rating: TBC
Director: Various
Blanquette This animated short sees a family get together for a meal. A veritable dance commences as the family bustles around the kitchen, bringing plates and cutlery to the table and passing dishes to each other. France, 2015, 4'23" Director: Charlie Blin Language: French with English subtitles Guillaume drifting Guillaume à la dérive On the day he gets fired, Guillaume (Bastien Bouillon) meets his replacement, Tom (Marc Arnaud). France, 2016, 18'50" Director: Sylvain Dieuaide Language: French with English subtitles Birth of a leader L’enfance d’un chef Vincent (Vincent Lacoste) is a twenty-year-old actor. He gets his big break when he is offered the lead role in a biopic on Charles de Gaulle's life. The only problem? At the same time as he gets the job, his parents decide to move to Orléans, forcing Vincent to live alone. We follow him in his first steps towards independence. This short was critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival. France America, 2016, 15'17" Director: Antoine de Bary Language: French with English subtitles Sabine Franc, (Franc Bruneau) the owner of a video store, has just broken up with his partner. He decides to ease his pain by shooting some rather unusual films of his own. France, 2015, 13'49" Director: Sylvain Robineau Language: French with English subtitles One Hell of a Plan Un plan d’enfer Mo and Carl are two devious thieves with a clever plan. One night they unleash dozens of cats in a neighbourhood, driving all of the local dogs crazy. Amid the barking and confusion, the robbers go in search of alleged booty hidden under an old woman's house. But unfortunately for them, things do not go quite to plan. Mo and Carl are about to live the most frightening night of their lives. France, 2015, 5'35" Director: Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli Language: French with English subtitles Dolly Poupée Every evening, 'Poupée' (doll) trawls online dating sites in the hope of finding love. After chatting to a mysterious stranger, she decides to go to his house in the middle of the night. As she always does, she believes something might come of it. France, 2016, 13' Director: Jessica Talud Language: French with English subtitles The Quiche Le Flan Robert is confident of being elected. However, when he loses by just one vote, he must uncover the identity of which family member did not vote for him. Was it his wife? His mum? His dad? Enraged and suspicious, Robert creates upheaval in the family in his search for the truth. France Belgium, 2015, 12' Director: Odile d'Oultremont Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Saturday 11 Mar 201714:30     

My Life as a Courgette - Preview Screening





Rating: TBC
Director: Claude Barras
Nine-year-old Icare, known to his friends as 'Courgette', finds himself in a local orphanage after the accidental death of his abusive mother. There he meets a group of children, each with their own emotional burdens and traumas to bear. Rather than dwelling on their misfortunes, the kids adopt a pragmatic approach to leading their lives, finding ways to co-exist in relative harmony. The arrival of young Camille gives Courgette his first taste of hope and possible romance. Despite its disarmingly uncomplicated look, this stop motion animated feature is one for older children and teens, as well as adults. It deals with its mature themes subtly and with respect, exploring the ways we adapt to the future and make the best of our lives. A funny, engaging and moving film with an unexpected depth and sense of beauty. "A big film in a small package: Claude Barras's children's animation broaches downbeat themes with charm, heart and smarts." Wendy Ide, The Observer Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Saturday 11 Mar 201716:30     

Moka





Rating: TBC
Director: Frédéric Mermoud
A Swiss mother who has lost her son in a car accident decides to track down the French woman responsible for his death in this skilful adaptation of the eponymous novel by Anglo-French writer Tatiana de Rosnay. Emmanuelle Devos stars as the mourning mother-on-a-mission, while co-star Nathalie Baye plays the owner of the coffee-coloured car — from which the film gets its title — that was involved in the hit-and-run accident. This is the kind of psychological thriller that could have been written by Patricia Highsmith several decades ago as it contrasts obsession and revenge in a slow uncovering of the psyche of two female leads. "A classy and classical psychological thriller, at various times reminiscent of the works of Chabrol, Hitchcock and Highsmith." Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Saturday 11 Mar 201718:30     

Frantz - Preview Screening





Rating: TBC
Director: François Ozon
The ever-prolific François Ozon makes a welcome return with this richly-evocative period piece, set in the aftermath of World War I. In a small German town, a young woman named Anna mourns the tragic death of her fiancé Frantz. Living with her departed lover’s parents, Anna keeps to herself, until one day she spies a mysterious man leaving flowers on Frantz’s grave. Discovering the man to be a close friend of her fiancé during his time in France, Anna finds solace in the outsider’s memories of her beloved. But as her sorrow slowly begins to lift and the pair become increasingly attached, some striking truths emerge, forcing Anna to question her burgeoning feelings. No two Ozon films are ever the same and this sweeping love story is a typically atypical work from the wonderfully unpredictable filmmaker. "Sumptuous… Feels like new territory for Ozon." Nigel M Smith, The Guardian

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Saturday 11 Mar 201721:00     

Moon Man





Rating: TBC
Director: Stephan Schesch and Sarah Clara Weber
The man on the Moon is bored. One day he hitches a ride to Earth on the tails of a passing comet, an attack from outer space that sets the alarm bells ringing in the President's headquarters. The moon Man starts to explore the fantastical creatures and sights of a new planet. But all is not well, the Moon man's absence from his post means that all the world's children are unable to sleep. Before the megalomaniac President can capture him, they must join forces to return him to his rightful place in the sky. Based on the much loved children’s book by Tomi Ungerer, Moon Man is an unmissable experience for all ages, both young and old. This beautifully animated film is a German, French and Irish co-production involving Ireland's Oscar nominated animation studio Cartoon Saloon with narration provided by Tomi Ungerer.

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Sunday 12 Mar 201711:30     

Cézanne and I - Preview Screening





Rating: TBC
Director: Danièle Thompson
This sumptuous 19th-century period drama stars Guillaume Gallienne as post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne and Guillaume Canet as Émile Zola. Danièle Thompson's sixth feature charts the decade-long friendship and eventual fallout between Cézanne, who was born into a wealthy family but struggled to make a living as a painter, and Zola, who came from a family of more straitened circumstances but achieved fame and prosperity as a politically-engaged novelist. Despite their differences, the pair form a strong bond and both move to Paris to continue their careers. However, when a character in Zola's latest book seems to be based on Cezanne's struggles as a painter, the pair clash and their relationship soon becomes strained. "Thompson meticulously recreates the world these two titans lived in, including stunning Parisian interiors and many scenes set in Provence with flowered fields and mountainscapes shot in ways that evoke the environment that inspired the great painter." Bonjour Paris

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Sunday 12 Mar 201716:00     

Eternity - Premiere





Rating: TBC
Director: Tran Anh Hung
At the end of the 19th century, Valentine, aged 20, married Jules. Towards the end of the 20th century, a young Parisian woman crosses a bridge on her way to a party thrown by her cousin. There, she meets a young man, later becoming his wife and the loving mother to their child. In the interim, between the two World Wars, two couples formed a quartet that was so close that after the death of one of the husbands and the wife of the other couple, the two families came together in a Paris apartment, 16 of them sitting round the table. "What do you get when you cast three French and internationally highly acclaimed top actresses such as Audrey Tautou, Bérénice Bejo and Mélanie Laurent, and bring them together in one film? A joy for the eye and the ear, Mr. Hung's masterful film tells the story of a catholic bourgeois family with three generations of women, their strengths, their joys, happiness and personal tragedies as they evolve from girls to mothers and then widows, still with hope in their hearts, during – give or take a few years – a whole century. It's a majestic drama with top-notch acting performances from the entire cast which results into a brilliant film experience." Film Talk Language: French with English subtitles

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Sunday 12 Mar 201718:30     

From the Land of the Moon - Preview Screening





Rating: TBC
Director: Nicole Garcia
Gabrielle (Marion Cotillard) comes from a small village in the South of France, at a time when her dream of true love is considered scandalous, and even a sign of insanity. Her parents decide to marry her to José, an honest and loving Spanish farm worker who they think will make a respectable woman of her. Despite José’s devotion to her, Gabrielle vows that she will never love José and lives like a prisoner bound by the constraints of conventional post-World War II society. That is until the day she is sent away to the Alps to heal her kidney stones. There she meets André Sauvage (Louis Garrel), a dashing injured veteran of the Indochinese War, who rekindles the passion buried inside her. She promises they will run away together, and André seems to share her desire. Will anyone dare rob her of her right to follow her dreams? "Like a Madame Bovary updated to the 20th century, Gabrielle (Cotillard) is a romantic country girl from a well-off family, and she is consumed with sexual desire. In this romantic character study by Nicole Garcia, Cotillard's performance is luminous throughout, enriching the willful heroine with the depth of a single obsession." The Hollywood Reporter

Note: Times shown in RED are sold-out.

Sunday 12 Mar 201721:00     
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