From today, 9th November, the French Film Festival is showcasing the best of le cinéma français in eleven cities across Britain. The selection is as generous and wide-ranging as it was when the festival first opened its doors 19 years ago.
Tonight, director Jean-Pierre Améris will open the festival at the Ciné Lumiere in London with his quirky love story Romantics Anonymous about two socially inept people struggling to get to know each other. The film marks a departure from his normally realist style, instead reflecting his passion for old Hollywood romance yarns and Woody Allen comedies.
Other guests include Daniel Auteuil, perhaps best known for his Bafta-winning turn in 1986 classic Jean de Florette. He returns to Provence in another story based on a novel by Marcel Pagnol. The Well Digger’s Daughter sees him as dad to a pregnant teenager whose wealthy boyfriend goes missing in the Second World War. Auteil will introduce the UK premiere on 11th November, also at the Ciné Lumiere.
Scottish actor Jamie Sives who was recently seen in TV’s Game of Thrones will make an appearance on home territory (at venues in Glasgow and Edinburgh) to introduce award-winning short film Tremblay En France. He takes the lead in this mini adventure about a foreigner in Paris who strays onto the wrong side of the River Seine.
Lebanese writer-director Danielle Arbid is on even more dangerous ground with her latest drama Beirut Hotel. It’s a tale of star-crossed lovers set in her mother country where the threat of war feels ever present. She too will be hosting screenings in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Among other films showing are The Conquest, charting Nicolas Sarkozy’s rise to power, and musical extravaganza Beloved starring that icon of French cinema Catherine Deneuve and her real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni. So, whether you’re old school or ‘new wave’, all tastes are catered for.
Find out more at the official site.
Romantics Anonymous opens nationwide on 2nd December 2011
The Well Digger’s Daughter opens nationwide on 9th December 2011