Over six weeks from 2 November – 17 December, the 25th UK French Film Festival presents 46 films in 300 screenings in 30 cities and 34 cinemas.
La Fête du Cinéma
This year the French Film Festival UK celebrates the crème de la crème of French and Francophone cinema with its 25th Silver Jubilee edition (2 November to 10 December 2017). In the selection are 46 diverse titles for all tastes including boulevard hits, auteur choices, documentaries, animation and shorts as well as key films from the past including glorious restorations of Indochine (screened in the very first French Film Festival in 1992).
Among the treasures in store for an auspicious anniversary are: Jean-Luc Godard in focus with Michel Hazanavicius’s Cannes Film Festival hit Redoubtable. Hazanavicius (who made The Artist, The Search and OSS 117) has adapted his screenplay from a novel by Godard’s ex-wife Anne Wiazemsky dealing with the couple’s marriage at the time he was shooting La Chinoise with the actress who was 20 years his junior. Louis Garrel transforms his looks with his dark locks shaved to give an uncanny physical resemblance to the intellectual “genius”. Stacy Martin plays his muse. In collaboration with Thunderbird Releasing.
Marie Curie anniversary
With the 150th anniversary of Marie Curie’s birth on 7 November the Festival will show Marie Noëlle’s new film Marie Curie, The Courage of Knowledge. It covers the most turbulent years in the life of Marie Curie: between 1905, when Curie comes with her husband Pierre to Stockholm to be awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of radioactivity, and 1911, when she receives her second Nobel Prize, after challenging France’s male-dominated academic establishment both as a scientist and a woman. In collaboration with Swipe Films and various events with the Marie Curie Associations in the UK.
One of France’s most acclaimed actresses Agnès Jaoui stars as the titular character Aurore in Blandine Lenoir’s second feature. Separated from her husband, she has just lost her job, and discovers that she is going to be a grandmother. Society is gently pushing her toward the exit, but when Aurore meets again the love of her youth by accident, she starts to resist. What if a whole new life could begin right now? In collaboration with Peccadillo Pictures.
Claude Bérri’s magnificent Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources are back for the first time in cinemas for many a year in brand-new copies and a tribute to the late Jeanne Moreau with four of her classic titles (Moreau was a Festival patron in its early years).
With unforgettable characters (both good and evil) as well as some of the most incredibly ravishing scenery imaginable, these two films are impeccably involving and moving. Featuring Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, Yves Montand, Emmanuelle Béart and Elisabeth Depardieu. In collaboration with Pathé and Park Circus.
Audiences will find acclaimed titles from the festival circuit including Cannes where earlier this year such veterans as André Techiné (Golden Years), Philippe Garrel (Lover for a Day), Jacques Doillon (Rodin) all had new films alongside a different generation such as Michel Hazanavicius having fun with Jean-Luc Godard in Redoubtable, Carine Tardieu’s hit comedy Just to be Sure, François Ozon’s erotic thriller The Double Lover Laurent Cantet (on top form in The Workshop) and Emmanuelle Bercot (150 Milligrams) about a real-life medical whistle-blower.
A Bag of Marbles draws inspiration from the memoirs of Joseph Joffo about two Jewish boys in Second World War France. From today’s headlines This is Our Land by Lucas Belvaux has as a background the rise of the forces of the National Front while Pierre Jolivet’s The Firemen looks from the inside at the summer conflagrations along the Côte d’Azur.
Among the guests scheduled to attend are the Oscar-winning Régis Wargnier for the anniversary screening of Indochine; second time director Blandine Lenoir and stellar talent Agnès Jaoui for Aurore; acclaimed Belgian director Lucas Belvaux for the hugely topical This is Our Land; exciting new screenwriting talent Nicolas Fleureau for the nail-biting social thriller Corporate; return guests Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon for the hilarious Lost in Paris; Lisa Azuelos for the musical biopic Dalida; and Marie Noëlle for Marie Curie: the Courage of Knowledge (screened to mark the 150th anniversary of the first female Nobel prizewinner’s birth).
The Festival takes place in more than 30 venues including: London Ciné Lumière and Regent Street Cinema, Glasgow Film Theatre, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Manchester Home, Warwick Arts Centre, Norwich Cinema City, Chichester Cinema at New Park and Newcastle Tyneside Cinema. For details of the programme go to the French Film Festival website.