French Film Festival reveals key elements of line-up

Yves Montand and Olivier Assayas to feature in 20th anniversary edition.

by Amber Wilkinson

The French Film Festival UK celebrates its 20th anniversary from November 8 to 29 2012. Already the programme has started to come together and the festival's co-founder and director Richard Mowe revealed a few appetisers at the Cannes Film Festival this week.

Olivier Assayas - Special focus in his presence on the work of the Carlos director, who emerged as a filmmaker in the second half of the 1980s after starting as a critic on Cahiers du Cinema in the same way as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut. Many of his earlier films including Paris s’Eveille have been shown in previous festivals. The festival expects to screen his new film Something In The Air.

Chantal Akerman - An influential figure in feminist film-making, straddling genres from romantic comedy to documentary and musical to installation art, Akerman has confirmed her attendance for workshops, screenings and seminars in partnership with Wallonie–Bruxelles and the University of Edinburgh. Her new film Almayer’s Folly is an adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s debut novel.

Yves Montand - Two decades after his death (the FFF showed his final film IP5 in its first edition) the festival salutes one of the all-time greats with a screening of Le Sauvage in a restored copy and presented we hope by its director Jean-Paul Rappeneau (a previous guest of the FFF and director of Cyrano de Bergerac).

Georges Melies - An homage to a pioneering genius with A Trip To The Moon set to original new music by Air, and the documentary The Extraordinary Voyage tied to a special focus on film restoration in partnership with the Fondation Gan & Technicolor Foundation.

Mowe said: “We have many more exciting plans waiting in the wings and which will be unveiled in the months ahead. Twenty years is a significant milestone for the festival and we look forward to a magnifique programme and to welcoming French guests, both familiar and new. How prescient that with the soaring success of The Artist we welcomed Oscar winner Michel Hazanavicus and Bérénice Bejo only a couple of editions ago.”

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