French Film Festival line-up revealed

Jean-Paul Rappeneau among guests

by Amber Wilkinson

Sink Or Swim
Sink Or Swim Photo: Mika Cotellon
The French Film Festival - which runs from November 7 to December 16 at cinemas across the country - has announced its line-up.

The festival, which has announced will screen films from across the Francophone world, will feature the latest films from established names - including Jean-Luc Godard's The Image Book, Jean Becker's The Red Collar and Christophe Honoré's Sorry Angel - as well as new directors. The up-and-comers in the Discovery Horizons section include Marie Monge’s thriller Treat Me Like Fire, Hubert Charuel’s Bloody Milk and Dany, which is the directorial debut of actor François Damiens.

Other films screening include Gilles Lelouche's crowdpleaser Sink Or Swim - based on the same real-life story as UK production Swimming With Men - and Stéphane Brizé's At War, starring Vincent Lindon.

Festival director Richard Mowe said: “Serendipity and, of course, careful planning has given us one of the strongest line-ups in years from such a hard-hitter as Stephan Brizé’s Cannes success At War to Albert Dupontel’s visually stunning See You Up There and such rollicking frolics as Return Of The Hero and Family Is Family.

"It’s good to see such directors as Christophe Honoré returning on screen with his intensely autobiographical Sorry Angel and that eternal enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard still creating waves of controversy after all these years with The Image Book. Cinema and dance is being celebrated with Le grand bal and a live event at Edinburgh Summerhall - and so much more besides. The instruction from the organisers is take the plunge and dive in - an appropriate analogy because the opening film is the delightful Sink or Swim directed by Gilles Lellouche which only is released tomorrow (24 October) in France after its Cannes bow earlier in the year."

Retrospectives will include a visit to the festival by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, who will present the restored version of his hit Cyrano de Bergerac starring Gérard Depardieu in London. Other classics include Henri-Georges Clouzot’s legal drama The Truth, Alain Cavalier’s The Unvanquished and Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion, which is being screened for the Armistice anniversary.

Mowe added: "Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s life and work are being celebrated currently at the Cinematheque in Paris - and we’re delighted he has managed to find time to accompany the screening of his master work Cyrano de Bergerac (in a restored copy) in London as well as we hope some Skype sessions in other cities. M Rappeneau has a strong affection for the Festival which he first attended in 1993.

“The Festival also fields an exceptionally strong and vibrant shorts programme including a selection from the innovative Mobile Film Festival - shorts lasting one minute and shot on mobiles and tablets. And with a nod to fostering our European credentials at this time of uncertainty the Festival has struck up a new partnership with another francophone film festival in Namur, the capital of Wallonie in Belgium. This Festival at least will not be leaving Europe any time soon.”

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