Frears and Wright in virtual Paris filmfest

Free event confirmed with Wittock’s Jumbo as opener

by Richard Mowe

Jumbo will open free event
Jumbo will open free event Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute
Despite the coronavirus challenges the organisers of the 9th edition of the Champs-Elysées Film Festival (9 to 16 June) have today unveiled plans which include interactive sessions online with UK directors Stephen Frears and Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead) as guests of honour.

The festival will take place completely online and will free of charge. The opening title will be Jumbo by Zoé Wittock with Noémie Merlant and Emmanuelle Bercot, which screened at Sundance and Berlin film festivals earlier in the year. The screening of the film in which Merlant (Portrait Of A Lady on Fire) becomes involved in a passionate affair with an inanimate object, will be preceded by a musical performance by composer and singer Barbara Carlotti.

Sophie Dulac, the president and founder of the festival, praised the reaction to the initiative by the public and filmmakers. She said: “Without their confidence, generosity, solidarity and a shared love for cinema, none of it would have been possible."

The feature film jury will be headed by Papicha director Mounia Meddour, with humourist and actress Camille Chamoux, actor William Lebhil, directors Sébastien Lifshitz and Sébastien Marnier, and actress Elina Löwenstein.

Frears will take part in his master class on 10 June at 6pm while Wright’s session is scheduled for 13 June at 6pm. Wright’s new film Last Night In Soho, a psychological horror story, with Thomasin McKenzie, Matt Smith, Diana Rigg and Terence Stamp is due for release in September.

The full programme will be announced on 20 May.

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