The YOUNG FRENCH CINEMA 2016 FILM SELECTION listed below is available to art house cinemas, film societies, the Alliance Française network and American universities. For program guidelines, please click here.


Download the 2016 Young French Cinema brochure here.


40-LOVE (TERRE BATTUE)

DIRECTOR Stéphane Demoustier
SCREENPLAY Stéphane Demoustier, Gaëlle Macé
CAST Olivier Gourmet, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Charles Mérienne
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France-Belgium. 95 min. Color. Sports/Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Films Distribution

Synopsis: An acute examination of pride, ego, and competition, Stéphane Demoustier’s first feature highlights an especially fraught fatherson relationship. When the film opens, middle-aged Jérôme (Olivier Gourmet) has just lost his job as a chain-store sales manager; despite this setback, he’s convinced that he’ll be able to begin a new retail operation immediately, going to illegal lengths to do so. At home, Jérôme grows more distant, paying little attention either to his tennis-prodigy son, Ugo (Charles Mérienne), or his wife, Laura (Valeria Bruni Tedeschi)—who soon leaves him for another man. When Jérôme fails to realize his professional dreams, he begins to focus more intensely on eleven-year-old Ugo’s extraordinary talents, burdening his only child with his own frustrated ambitions. The extent to which the son feels responsible for his dad’s happiness becomes painfully clear when Ugo tries to sabotage his opponent at a championship tennis match—behavior, it would seem, that he first learned from papa.

WATCH TRAILER

CHALLAT OF TUNIS (LE CHALLAT DE TUNIS)

DIRECTOR Kaouther Ben Hania
SCREENPLAY Kaouther Ben Hania
CAST Jallel Dridi, Mohamed Slim Bouchiha, Narimene Saidane
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY/DVD CineConductor
DETAILS 2013. Tunisia-France-Canada-Qatar-UAE. 90 min. Color. Comedy/Mockumentary
RIGHTS HOLDER Jour2Fête

Synopsis: This tart, frequently hilarious, multilayered mockumentary written and directed by Kaouther Ben Hania is rooted in an actual incident: In 2003, an assailant on a motorbike known as the Challat—or the “Slasher”—of Tunis slashed eleven women from behind with a knife. Ten years later, Ben Hania is on a fictional quest to find out the true identity of this attacker, following up a “lead” that the Challat is due to be released from prison. When that tip proves to be false, Ben Hania conducts auditions to find someone to play the slasher; in the process, she meets someone who claims that he is the real Challat. While fact and fiction, being and performing are continually destabilized in Ben Hania’s film, the focus of her project never wavers: revealing the troubling misogynist views held by many Tunisian men, who applaud the Challat for assaulting women deemed to have been dressed “immodestly.”

WATCH TRAILER

EAT YOUR BONES (MANGE TES MORTS)

DIRECTOR Jean-Charles Hue
SCREENPLAY Jean-Charles Hue, Salvatore Lista
CAST Jason François, Michael Dauber, Frédéric Dorkel
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY/DVD CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France. 98 min. Color. Drama
RIGHTS HOLDER Capricci Films

Synopsis: As he did in his debut feature, The Lord’s Ride (2010), Jean- Charles Hue shapes Eat Your Bones as a remarkable hybrid of documentary and fiction to focus on a community rarely depicted in cinema—the Romany of northern France. Working once again with nonprofessional actors, Hue centers his film on eighteenyear- old Jason (Jason François), who is just days away from being baptized. His life is upended, however, by the return of his halfbrother, Fred (Frédéric Dorkel), home after serving fifteen years in jail but already itching to put another criminal plan—a heist of copper wire—into action. Joined by a third brother and a cousin, Fred and Jason reveal themselves to be incompetent thieves, and constant squabbling among this quartet further undermines their mission. Shifting seamlessly from the long observational takes of Jason with his family and neighbors in their caravan encampments to the noir-like elements of its final scenes, Eat Your Bones is the work of a filmmaker firmly in control of both style and content.

WATCH TRAILER

ASTRAGAL (L'ASTRAGALE)

DIRECTOR Brigitte Sy
SCREENPLAY Brigitte Sy, Serge Le Péron
CAST Leïla Bekhti, Reda Kateb, Esther Garrel
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France. 97 min. Black and white. Biography/Romance/Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Alfama Films

Synopsis: Brigitte Sy’s fiercely intelligent adaptation of the eponymous 1965 semi-autobiographical novel by Algerian-born Albertine Sarrazin—vividly brought to life by Leila Bekhti—depicts the life of a young woman defiantly on the margins. The title refers to the name for the anklebone, which Albertine broke while escaping from jail in 1957 at the age of twenty. Crawling along a French country road after her she injures herself, Albertine encounters Julien (Reda Kateb), a fellow criminal who takes her under his wing, providing housing for her in Paris. The two quickly become lovers, Albertine’s passion for Julien growing even stronger during his frequent absences. Working as a prostitute in Montmartre, Albertine is frequently shown recording her thoughts and observations on her conflicting desires: between total autonomy and a deepening need for Julien. Those notes, quickly jotted down in cahiers, and eloquently read by Bekhti in voice-over, would soon form the basis of a singular work in French literature.

WATCH TRAILER

PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST (LE DOS ROUGE)

DIRECTOR Antoine Barraud
SCREENPLAY Antoine Barraud
CAST Bertrand Bonello, Jeanne Balibar, Géraldine Pailhas
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY/DVD CineConductor
DETAILS 2015. France. 127 min. Color. Drama
RIGHTS HOLDER Reel Suspects

Synopsis: Coproduced by the Centre Pompidou, Antoine Barraud’s spellbinding film concerns the labyrinthine quest of an auteur named Bertrand—played by the acclaimed French director Bertrand Bonello, whose slinky biopic Saint Laurent was released earlier this year—to find the artwork that best exemplifies the concept of the “monstrous,” the subject of his next movie. Guiding the filmmaker on his quest through the galleries of various institutions is Célia, an art historian who is incarnated in some scenes by Jeanne Balibar and in others by Géraldine Pailhas. The tactic of having two actresses inhabit the same role clearly nods to Luis Buñuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire (1977), which deploys a similar conceit; other cinephilic salutes include a film-within-the-film reimagining of Vertigo. These tributes, rather than appearing slavishly derivative, instead add to Portrait’s scene-by-scene unpredictability and sharpen its absorbing ideas about images, both moving and still.

WATCH TRAILER

SENSE OF HUMOR (LE SENS DE L'HUMOUR)

DIRECTOR Marilyne Canto
SCREENPLAY Marilyne Canto, Maud Ameline
CAST Marilyne Canto, Antoine Chappey, Samson Dajczman
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France. 90 min. Color. Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Films Distribution

Synopsis: Best known in France as an actress, Marilyne Canto directed, cowrote, and stars in this richly detailed film (her first feature) about relationships. Recently widowed Elise (Canto), a guide at a museum in Paris and the mother of ten-year-old Léo (Samson Dajczman), finds herself pushing away her boyfriend, Paul (Antoine Chappey), an antiques specialist, who yearns for them to grow closer. Yet during one of his more tumultuous episodes with Elise, Paul and Léo slowly forge a tender bond. Keenly attuned to the contradictions and inconsistencies that all humans, no matter their age, exhibit, Sense of Humor is the rare movie that embraces the complexities of its characters rather than turn them into clichés. And as superb as Canto and Chappey are in their roles, it is Dajczman, in his only film to date, who gives the most astounding performance, as a boy at once vigilant and carefree, loving and withholding.

WATCH TRAILER

SILVERED WATER, SYRIA SELF-PORTRAIT (EAU ARGENTEE, SYRIE AUTOPORTRAIT)

DIRECTORS Ossama Mohammed, Wiam Simav Bedirxan
SCREENPLAY Ossama Mohammed, Wiam Simav Bedirxan
FORMAT(S) DCP/DVD CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France-Syria. 92 min. Color. Documentary.
RIGHTS HOLDER Doc & Film International

Synopsis: An extraordinary, at times excruciating documentary, Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait bears witness to the atrocities of the civil war that has raged in that country for nearly five years. Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed, who has been living in exile in Paris since fighting broke out in his native land, began accumulating hundreds of online videos shot clandestinely by his compatriots via cell phones and other devices that expose the daily brutality of life under President Bashar al-Assad’s regime; these images became the starting point for this searing, visceral project. Mohammed was later contacted by activist Wiam Simav Bedirxan, a young Kurdish woman who had been working as schoolteacher in Homs and recorded the horrors after the uprising in that western Syrian city. Much of the footage of Homs’s destruction shot by Bedirxan, whom Mohammed would credit as his co-director, is included in Silvered Water—a courageous film that will leave no viewer unmoved.

WATCH TRAILER

STORY OF JUDAS (HISTOIRE DE JUDAS)

DIRECTOR Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche
SCREENPLAY Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche
CAST Nabil Djedouani, Mohamed Aroussi, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY/DVD CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France. 99 min. Color. Fiction.
RIGHTS HOLDER Sarrazink Productions

Synospsis: A bold retelling of the saga of the most infamous of the twelve disciples, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche’s movie portrays Judas not as the betrayer of Jesus but as his most devoted and loving friend. Filming in starkly beautiful desert locations in his native Algeria, Ameur-Zaïmeche, who, in addition to directing, writing, and producing Story of Judas also stars in the title role, immediately establishes the unshakeable bond between the two men: In the opening scene, we witness Judas carry Jesus (Nabil Djedouani), weakened by a forty-day fast, on his back over hilly terrain. When Jesus’s teachings begin to attract large crowds in Judea, Judas assumes an even greater role as his friend’s protector, trying to shield him from Pontius Pilate’s Roman forces, who are growing ever more threatened by the prophet. In this graceful reimagining of one of the Bible’s best-known stories, Ameur-Zaïmeche presents both Jesus and Judas as victims of the occupying army’s power plays.

WATCH TRAILER

THE LAST HAMMER BLOW (LE DERNIER COUP DE MARTEAU)

DIRECTOR Alix Delaporte
SCREENPLAY Alix Delaporte
CAST Romain Paul, Clotilde Hesme, Grégory Gadebois
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY/DVD CineConductor
DETAILS 2015. France. 83 min. Color. Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Pyramide International

Synopsis: Alix Delaporte’s impeccably observed drama tracks thirteen-year old Victor (Romain Paul, here in his big-screen debut), a talented student and athlete growing up in grim circumstances: He and his single mother, Nadia (Clotilde Hesme), severely ill with cancer, live in a trailer home on the outskirts of Montpellier. Victor has never met his father, a famous conductor named Samuel Rovinski (Grégory Gadebois)—though the teenager hopes for some kind of reunion when he learns that his estranged dad will be in town to lead the local orchestra in a performance of Mahler’s Sixth Symphony. The title of the film refers to the “mighty strokes of fate” delivered by a percussionist at the end of this musical composition—a fitting motif for a teenager whose own life often hangs in the balance. Without a trace of sentimentality, The Last Hammer Blow presents an unforgettable young man bravely shouldering immense responsibilities.

WATCH TRAILER

VINCENT (VINCENT N'A PAS D'ECAILLES)

DIRECTOR Thomas Salvador
SCREENPLAY Thomas Salvador, Thomas Cheysson, Thomas Bidegain
CAST Thomas Salvador, Vimala Pons, Youssef Hajdi
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY/DVD CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France. 78 min. Color. Comedy/Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Le Pacte

Synopsis: Director and cowriter Thomas Salvador stars in the title role of this modest, extremely charming superhero movie. Tall, lean, slightly awkward, and unassuming, Vincent leads a quiet life as a construction worker. But whenever he comes into contact with water, this beanpole of a man transforms into a being with unsurpassed strength and speed; after jumping into a lake, Vincent glides through the water like a dolphin. Though he tries to keep his spectacular gift hidden, he eventually shares his secret with his new love Lucie (Vimala Pons), who is utterly delighted by her boyfriend’s powers. After Vincent taps into his preternatural might to help a coworker at a building site, a police chase ensues—a pursuit more thrilling than any found in a recent comicbook blockbuster with a budget 100 times that of Salvador’s film. Vincent reminds us that the best special effects are ingenuity and imagination.

WATCH TRAILER

YOUNG TIGER (BEBE TIGRE)

DIRECTOR Cyprien Vial
SCREENPLAY Cyprien Vial
CAST Harmandeep Palminder, Élisabeth Lando, Vikram Sharma
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY CineConductor
DETAILS 2014. France. 87 min. Color. Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Films Distribution

Synopsis: Cyprien Vial’s striking feature debut follows the travails of Punjabi teenager Many (impressive first-time actor Harmandeep Palminder), an illegal immigrant in France who must balance his wish to establish roots in his new country with the unyielding pressure to send money back home to his family in India. Two years after his arrival in France as a terrified fifteen-year-old, Many appears to be fully integrated: He’s living with a kind foster family, doing well in his racially diverse high school on the outskirts of Paris, and embarking on a romance with one of his West African classmates, Elisabeth (Elisabeth Lando). But succumbing to his parents’ pleas for more cash, Many assumes greater, more dangerous responsibilities in the construction business run by the man who smuggled him into France. With tremendous insight and empathy, Young Tiger not only lays bare the specific predicament of its protagonist but also points to the impossible, conflicting demands placed on immigrants everywhere.

WATCH TRAILER

CHORUS [Canadian Pick]

DIRECTOR François Delisle
SCREENPLAY François Delisle
CAST Sébastien Ricard, Fanny Mallette
FORMAT(S) DCP/BLU RAY CineConductor
DETAILS 2015. Canada. 97min, Black and white. Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Doc & Film International

Synopsis: Hugo was eight when he went missing. When searches turn up nothing, his parents, Christophe and Irène split under the excruciating pressure of waiting. He moves to Mexico. She goes back to her career as an alto in an early music choir. They live in their separate solitudes, haunted by Hugo’s disappearance, until one day they get the news that human remains have been found. Everything indicates they are those of their son Hugo. During their forced reunion in Montreal, they both handle the death of their child in their own way. Amid the guilt of losing a loved one, they haltingly move toward affirmation of life, acceptance of death and even the possibility of reconciliation. Chorus is a love story that emerges from mourning and leads to two survivors clinging to each other as if to heal the deepest cut of all.

WATCH TRAILER


Short Films

FORMAT(S) DCP/.mov Files/CineConductor

Don’t Speak About Love (Ne parlez pas d’amour)

DIRECTOR Hadrien Bichet
SCREENPLAY Yves Bichet
CAST Manon Carrand, Christopher Yavau
DETAILS 2014. France. 22 min. Color. Fiction/Romantic Comedy.
RIGHTS HOLDER L’Agence du court métrage

Synopsis: Samir, a junior in high school, edgy and impulsive, is in love with Lea, a classmate in a wheelchair. After he is unjustly expelled from school, he is set upon revenge.

The Wanderer (Errance)

DIRECTOR Peter Dourountzis
SCREENPLAY Peter Dourountzis
CAST Paul Hamy, Zita Hanrot, Sébastien Houbani
DETAILS 2014. France. 21 min. Color. Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER L’Agence du court métrage

Synopsis: Djé has come to Paris for the weekend, and no one’s expecting him. He discreetly slips through the shadows, walking the streets in an attempt to remedy his boredom. A chameleon and outsider, he spends his time socializing, drinking or just wandering.
Unifrance films Award for Short Film, 2015 (Grand Prix)

Breath (Ses souffles)

DIRECTOR Just Philippot
SCREENPLAY Just Philippot, Pierre Dejon
CAST Candela Cottis, Marie Kauffmann
DETAILS 2015. France. 23 min. Color. Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Offshore

Synopsis: Lizon has just attended her friend Marie’s birthday. The friends around the birthday cake, the candles to be blown, the wish to be made amazed her. For her ninth birthday, Lizon wants the same thing. A birthday with a cake, candles and her friends, at her home: in the car.
Unifrance films Award for Short Film, 2015 (Prix Spécial)

One, Two, Tree

DIRECTOR Yulia Aronova
SCREENPLAY Yulia Aronova
DETAILS 2015. France-Switzerland. 6 min. Animation.
RIGHTS HOLDER Folimage Studios

Synopsis: It’s the story of a tree, a tree like any other. One day, it jumps into a pair of boots and goes off for a walk, inviting everyone it meets to follow. Boring everyday life fades as they all skip and dance along happily.

Uncanny Valley

DIRECTOR Paul Wenninger
SCREENPLAY Paul Wenninger
DETAILS 2015. France-Austria. 13 min. Animation
RIGHTS HOLDER Sixpackfilm

Synopsis: In Uncanny Valley, we are at once bombarded by the psychological and physical intensity of a battle fought between desperate soldiers during the First World War. Within the horizon of a physiological apparatus and a gaze towards war, Uncanny Valley develops a dramaturgy of the image interrupted, a stuttering picture that interrupts the narrative structure of the scenic sequence.

Mother(s) (Maman(s))

DIRECTOR Maïmouna Doucouré
SCREENPLAY Maïmouna Doucouré
CAST Eriq Ebouaney, Maïmouna Gueye, Sokhna Diallo, Mareme N’Diaye
DETAILS 2015. France. 21 min. Color. Drama.
RIGHTS HOLDER Bien ou Bien Productions

Synopsis: Aida, 8 years old, lives with her family in the Parisian suburbs. The day her father comes back from his trip to Senegal, their mother country, Aida’s daily life is completely upset : her father is not alone, he came back with a young Senegalese, Rama, whom he introduces as his second wife.
Winner Short Cuts Award for Best Film, TIFF 2015

No One Will Be Any Wiser (Ni vu ni connu)

DIRECTOR Lyes Salem
SCREENPLAY Jean-Armand Bougrelle
CAST Marilou Malo, Alix Blumberg dit “Fleurmont”, Salim Laouar Fontaine, Philippe Ferhat
DETAILS 2015. France. 11 min. Color. Crime film
RIGHTS HOLDER L’Agence du court métrage

Synopsis: A woman who thinks her husband is cheating on her hires a fumbling crook to kidnap and punish the mistress. With one of his friends, he sets up a scheme to easily pocket the money. But on the day of the confrontation, things take an unexpected turn.

Rewind (A rebours)

DIRECTOR Frédéric Mermoud
SCREENPLAY Paul Degout
CAST Lou Granarolo, Audrey Bastien, François-Xavier Phan, Paul Granier
DETAILS 2015. France. 11 min. Color. Crime film.
RIGHTS HOLDER L’Agence du court métrage

Synopsis: While Sylvie is rushing to open the grocery store where she works, two customers burst in: Franck, a serious looking man Sylvie seems to know and Julie, a young woman who appears to be in a dire situation. An argument quickly breaks out between them, followed by a slap and Franck furiously leaving the store. While Sylvie helps Julie up, a bigger fight begins outside.

more grants
1/3
recomended for you
event

New Series at FIAF: "Poetic and Political: The Cinema of Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche"

November 1 - December 13, 2016
FIAF Florence Gould Hall
55 East 59th Street
New York, NY 10022
event

54th Edition of New York Film Festival

September 30 - October 16, 2016
Film Society of Lincoln Center
144 West 65th Street
New York, NY
event

"Filming at the Borders: Migrating to Europe Today" film series at Columbia Maison Française

October 13 - 28, 2016
Columbia Maison Française (East Gallery, Buell Hall)
515 W 116 St
New York, NY
event

Seattle French Cinema Now 2016

September 29, 2016 - October 6, 2016
Seattle
Seattle
event

"Woman with a movie camera : female directors before 1950" series at Anthology Film Archives

September 15 - 28, 2016
Anthology Film Archive
32 Second Avenue New York, NY 10003