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2019 New French Cinema Week

The New French Cinema Week, a festival of new international films by up-and-coming Francophone filmmakers, will run in Austin, TX from Thursday, April 18 to Sunday, April 21 at the AFS Cinema. The festival is presented by Austin Film Society.

In partnership with the Premiers Plans Festival d’Angers, and supported by UniFrance, the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Houston, Austin Angers Creative and the City of Angers (Austin’s sister city in the Loire valley), the festival will welcome international guests and filmmakers, feature an opening night reception, guest DJ sets, and a diverse program of narrative features, documentaries, animations and shorts by emerging Francophone artists. Nearly all of the films are undistributed in the US, and so the week provides a rare opportunity to see European independent films from diverse perspectives, that don’t typically reach United States audiences.


PROGRAM SCHEDULE

Thursday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.

PAPER FLAGS (LES DRAPEAUX DE PAPIER)

directed by Nathan Ambrosini, in attendance

Opening Night selection. French stars Guillaume Gouix and Noémie Merlant deliver powerfully nuanced and emotional performances in this remarkable feature debut from Nathan Ambrosioni, who joins us in person for his Texas Premiere after winning the Audience Award in January at the Premiers Plans Film Festival. Vincent (Gouix) has just been released from a long prison sentence. He seeks out his only connection from before serving time, his younger sister Charlie (Merlant). With their broken family in the background, the two estranged siblings put their hearts on the line.


Friday, April 19, 6:30 p.m.

BRAGUINO preceded by LES INDES GALANTES (short)

directed by Clément Cogitore, in attendance

Visual artist and filmmaker Clément Cogitore joins us to present his newest work, an electrifying observational work of a rarely-seen side of Russia. The Braguino clan have a self-sufficient existence in a wild, remote region of Siberia. One other family also lives in this outpost, just across the fence line from the Braguinos. The families are mortal enemies, and both are threatened by a changing climate and changing Russia.


Friday, April 19, 9:30 p.m.

NIGHT EATS THE WORLD (LA NUIT A DEVOURÉ LE MONDE)

directed by Dominique Rocher, in attendance

Director Dominique Rocher joins us in person to present a hyper-modern and cinematic take on the zombie thriller. A melancholic Sam (Anders Danielsen Lie, of PERSONAL SHOPPER and OSLO 31, AUGUST) shows up at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment during a late-night rager. The next morning, the after-party scene is uncannily rough: the revelers have disappeared, and Sam finds himself in an altered Parisian landscape that is the ultimate challenge to his own sanity. Surprising and emotional, featuring memorable performances by Denis Lavant and Golshifteh Farahani (PATERSON), this is the film is the antidote to genre fatigue.


Saturday April 20, 1:00 p.m.

RETURN TO BOLLENE (RETOUR À BOLLÈNE)

directed by Saïd Hamich in attendance 

Director Saïd Hamich in attendnace. This compelling first film shines a light on economic inequities and racial injustices in working-class France. Nassim, in his early thirties, lives in Abu Dhabi with his American fiancée, Elisabeth. After several years of absence, he returns with her to Bollene, a town in the South of France where he grew up. But Nassim must face his past: a dead city now governed by the far right party, a complex relationship with his family, and a father he no longer speaks to.


Saturday, April 20, 4:00 p.m.

LA CUISINE DES JUSTES

directed by Emmanuel Morice & Nicolas Thomä, in attendance 

Take a deep dive into the unique cuisine and wine of France’s Loire Valley with some of the region’s most committed stewards of traditional practice. The documentary’s co-director, Emmanuel Morice, joins us in Austin to discuss his work following farm-to-table chefs, natural wine cultivators, wine cellar merchants, farmers, fisherman and more who make up a dynamic food culture committed to tradition and environmental principles, while finding innovative ways to adapt to modern society and climate.


Saturday, April 20, 8:30 p.m.

NEITHER HEAVEN NOR EARTH (NI LE CIEL NI LA TERRE)

directed by Clément Cogitore, in attendance 

Director Clément Cogitore, who joins us in Austin with his newest docu-hybrid, BRAGUINO, will also present his acclaimed 2015 feature debut, winner of a special jury prize at Cannes Critic’s Week. A mystery-thriller taking place during the invasion of Afghanistan, the film follows a fictional French captain whose men begin mysteriously disappearing in the Afghan wilderness. A tale with unexpected turns, and a commentary on the west’s involvement in the Middle East.


Sunday, April 21, 1:30 p.m.

THE COMPETITION (LE CONCOURS)

directed by Claire Simon

A completely engrossing and memorable documentary about college admissions at a unique institution.  La Fémis, France’s premiere film academy, proposes a film education like no other-- training direct from professionals in the industry instead of career educators, and almost a guarantee of entry into the production system after graduation. Gaining entrance into the school is another story, and that’s where the tragicomedy of THE COMPETITION is set. In this observational documentary, we go behind the scenes of the admissions process, revealing the triumphs and calamities of those who dream of getting in to the world’s best film school.


Sunday, April 21, 4:00 p.m.

Drawing by Drawing: animated non-fiction shorts from the Ecole des Beaux Arts of Angers

Charming snippets of autobiography become beautiful revelations in these student animators' non-fiction work. Exclusively hand-drawn and collage animations draw attention to the artistry of the craft. The program will be presented by Matthieu Dellale of the Ecole des Beaux Arts Angers.


Sunday, April 21, 6:15 p.m.

SOFIA

directed by Meryem Benm'Barek-Aloïsi

Winner of Best Screenplay at Cannes in 2018’s Un Certain Regard Competition, SOFIA is a beautifully-performed drama with surprising twists that illustrates the powerfully restrictive gender and class dynamics of modern day Morocco. Sofia is a single 20-year old living with her aspiring upper middle class family in Casablanca. At a family dinner to host her successful uncle’s visiting associate, Sofia’s wealthy cousin observes that the girl is in labor, but Sofia denies that she is pregnant.


Information and tickets: www.austinfilm.org/series/new-french-cinema-week-2019

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