French Embassy's Young French Cinema Program Provides the US Access with 20 New French Films
The fourth edition of the Young French Cinema program, which will be available for booking from January 2018 through the year, will offer American theaters, universities, film societies, art house cinemas, the Alliance Française network and other organizations the opportunity to screen contemporary French films.
The program, presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and UniFrance, seeks to showcase rising French talents with a global vision, whose films combine wide ranging cultural influences and subject matter. Most of the selected films in the 2018 program have premiered in 2017 in top international festivals.
The scope of the program expanded in 2016 to include a 'Canadian Pick' which features upcoming talents from Canada, in partnership with Telefilm Canada, and the majority of the feature films in the 2018 selection will be available in Canada. For the second year in a row, thanks to a partnership with l'ACID (Association for Independent Cinema and Distribution), the program includes a film from their recent Cannes selection. Additionally, Eclair is a partner of the project and provides through EclairPlay - its new all-in-one download e-delivery solution for cinema exhibitors, distributors and content owners - a unique platform to download all YFC films in DCP format.
The 2018 selection reflects the mission of the Young French Cinema program, focusing on rising talents, from high-profile independent works to quirky comedies, powerful documentaries, and exciting shorts. The selection demonstrates that this young generation shares a capacity to combine cultural influences with films capturing realities from Cambodia, Algeria, Mali, Afghanistan and China. Furthermore, with more than half of the films directed by female filmmakers, the selection captures this generation's concern with expanding female representation in the industry. The films explore a variety of topics such as coming of age (Diamond Island), the life of a modern-day woman (In Bed with Victoria and Montparnasse Bienvenue), filmmaking (Nothingwood), and love (Kiss Me!). The 2018 Young French Cinema program includes 12 full-length features (11 French, one Canadian) as well as 8 short features. The films, which can be booked "à la carte" with no minimum or maximum number of films to choose, are listed below.
· Before Summer Ends (Avant la fin de l'été) by Maryam Goormaghtigh chronicles the life of three Iranian students living in France in a unique mixture of documentary, fiction and comedy. This film was selected by l'ACID for their Cannes selection. *
· Diamond Island by Davy Chou is a French and Cambodian production that tells the story of eighteen year old Bora who leaves his village to find work in Phnom Penh and encounters his long-lost brother living a suspiciously extravagant lifestyle. *
· Heaven Will Wait (Le Ciel attendra) by Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar tells the story of two young girls in France who become drawn to radical Islam by online predators seeking to recruit jihadists. *
· In Bed With Victoria (Victoria) by Justine Triet, a top box-office film in France in 2016, is the story of the hilarious trials of Victoria as she juggles her career, family, dating life and ex-husband, told in a subtly feminist and expertly crafted way.
· Boundaries (Pays) by Chloé Robichaud, this year's Canadian pick, reveals the inner workings of international politics on the fictional island state of Besco. The film is presented in partnership with Telefilm Canada and the Talentfund. Canadian Pick *
· Montparnasse Bienvenue (Jeune Femme) by Léonor Serraille and winner of the Caméra d'Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival portrays thirtysomething Paula who lands in Paris adrift and trying to navigate her precarious future.
· Nothingwood, a documentary by Sonia Kornlund, portays Afghan filmmaker Salim Shaheen who resourcefully makes films in what he calls "Nothingwood," referring to Afghanistan's lack of resources for filmmaking.
· Speak Up (A voix haute, la force de la parole) by Stéphane de Freitas and Ladj Ly is this year's education pick. The documentary follows a group of college students preparing for Eloquentia, a public speaking contest. Educational Pick *
· Paris Prestige (Les Derniers Parisiens) by Hamé and Ekoué, two rappers in the leading French rap group La Rumeur, captures Nas as he works at his older brother's bar Le Prestige after being in prison. *
· Until the Birds Return (En attendant les hirondelles) is director Karim Moussaoui's debut film that tells three loosely related stories set in contemporary Algeria.
· Wulu by Daouda Couibaly is the thrilling story of Ladji's rise in the drug trade in Mali, and captures a sobering picture of the country in the period leading to the 2012 coup d'état. *
· Kiss Me! (Embrasse Moi!) by Cyprien Vial and comedian and singer Océanerosemarie is a romantic comedy that chronicles a love story of two very different women. *
*Available in Canada
· Grandpa Walrus (Pépé le Morse) by Lucrèce Andreae reveals a family after a grandparent's death.
· What Tears Us Apart (Ce qui nous éloigne) by Hu Wei tells the story of an encounter after a long separation.
· Les Misérables by Ladj Ly is the story of Pento who joins the Seine-Saint-Denis anti-crime brigade.
· You Will Be Fine (Gros chagrin) by Céline Devaux portrays Jean telling the story of his break-up.
· A Gentle Night by Qiu Yang is the story of a missing mother and daughter in a nameless Chinese city.
· Martin Cries (Martin pleure) by Jonathan Vinel asks, what happens when you wake up one morning and all your friends have disappeared?
· Before Losing Everything (Avant que de tout perdre) by Xavier Legrand captures the mysterious Miriam who insists she has to leave the region.
UniFrance is the organization in charge of promoting French cinema throughout the world. Created in 1949, in the form of an association under the law of 1901, UniFrance films is administered by French state authorities, in particular the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée). The association has nearly 1000 members: producers of feature films and shorts, sales agents, directors, actors, authors (screenwriters) and talent agents. www.unifrance.org
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts.www.frenchculture.org