The Young French Cinema Program Announces its 2019 “A La Carte” Selection Available for Screenings in the U.S.

The Young French Cinema Program Announces its 2019 “A La Carte” Selection Available for Screenings in the U.S.

NEW YORK, December 13, 2019– The fifth edition of the Young French Cinema program, which will be available for booking from January 2019 through the rest of the year, will offer American theaters, universities, film societies, art house cinemas, the Alliance Française network and other organizations the opportunity to easily screen contemporary French films.

French Cinema is widely known for the cinematic revolution it ignited with the New Wave more than five decades ago, but Contemporary and Young French directors are still vowing audiences and have continually been singled out for praise by the international press.

The Young French Cinema program, presented by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy and UniFrance, seeks to showcase rising French talents with a global vision, whose films incorporate wide-ranging cultural influences and subject matters. Most of the selected films in the 2019 program have premiered in 2018 in top international festivals.

Since 2016 a ‘Canadian Pick’ is included, featuring an upcoming talent from French speaking Canada, in partnership with Telefilm Canada.  This year, the pick is Genesis/ Genèse directed by Philippe Lesage and it is part of a double bill program with the French film L’Amour debout by Michael Dacheux. The two films will be offered for booking both in Young French Cinema and in Telefilm’s Canada Now program! Also, the majority of the Young French Cinema feature and short films in the 2019 selection will be available for venues in Canada.

The scope of the partnership with the renowned selection of l’ACID (Association for Independent Cinema and Distribution) has expanded and the program includes three films from their recent Cannes selection.

Additionally, Eclair is a partner of the project and provides through EclairPlay – its market leading e-delivery solution for cinema exhibitors, distributors and content owners – a unique platform to download all YFC films in DCP format.

The 2019 selection reflects the mission of the Young French Cinema program to focus on rising talents, from high-profile independent works to quirky comedies, powerful documentaries, and exciting short films. The selection demonstrates that this young generation shares a capacity to combine cultural influences with films capturing realities from France, Canada, Morocco, Mexico or Russia. Furthermore, with 8 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 Gender studies, LGBT issues, Globalization and migrations, or the concept of family. The 2019 Young French Cinema program includes 12 full-length and 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.


  • / Sparring (dir. by Samuel Jouy): An aging boxer who has lost more fights than he’s won decides to accept an offer than many have refused: to become the sparring partner of a champion.

“Samuel Jouy makes a confident directing debut, achieving a smooth flowing narrative and using the camera in ways that pull the viewer into the intimacy of the fight scenes” – Screen International

  • Something is Happening/ Il se passe quelque chose (dir. by Anne Alix): Irma jumps into a river and is rescued by the free-spirited Dolorès, who has been tasked with writing a gay-friendly tourist guide of Provence; gradually, the film opens up on Provence and the world as a whole.

“An openhearted film, where fiction and documentary joyfully blend” – L’Humanité

  • L’Amour debout/ L’Amour debout (dir. by Michaël Dacheux): 25-year-old Martin, striving to mature, comes to Paris to meet Léa, with whom he shared his first love story.

The filmmaker Michaël Dacheux accurately portrays, with brilliant young actors in particular, the initiatory journey of two young people after their first romance.” – Libération

  • Return to Bollene/ Retour à Bollène (dir. by Saïd Hamich): Nassim, who lives in Abu Dhabi with his American fiancée Elisabeth, must return with her to Bollene, the declining town in the south of France where he grew up.

“A delicate and sincere film” – Telerama

  • Gaspard at the Wedding/ Gaspard va au mariage (dir. by Antony Cordier): After many years of distance, Gaspard attends his father’s remarriage accompanied by Laura, an eccentric young woman who has agreed to pretend to be his girlfriend.

“A French comedy, full of grace and fantasies” – Le Monde

  • SPEAK UP/ Ouvrir la voix (dir. by Amandine Gay): Women of African descent converse about what it means to be a woman today and belong to the Afro community, speaking up and taking control of their own representation.

“As radically frank in style as in substance, […] a film of experience and of reflection” – The New Yorker

  • / Sofia (dir. by Meryem Benm’Barek): Sofia, living with her parents in Casablanca, has 24 hours to provide identification papers of her child’s father before the authorities are alerted that she broke the law by having a child out of wedlock.

“Writer-director Meryem Benm’barek’s lean, nuanced script astutely picks apart class hypocrisy via a story of a young woman who gives birth out of wedlock” – Variety

  • Cassandro the Exotico!/ Cassandro the Exotico ! (dir. by Marie Losier): Cassandro, star of the gender-bending, cross-dressing wrestlers known as the Exoticos, must reinvent himself after 26 years of work, injuries, and the effects of a traumatic past.

“A moving and sometimes amusing portrait of grit and glitter overcoming adversity” – The Hollywood Reporter

  • Whatever Happened To My Revolution/ Tout ce qu’il me reste de la révolution (dir. by Judith Davis): A young girl from a family of militant activists is determined to fight against the afflictions of her generation.
  • is/ Genèse (dir. by Philippe Lesage): Three storylines capture the tightrope weak of teenagers discovering love and navigating the rapids between hope and disappointment, exhilaration and shame.

“Lesage’s filmmaking, with its unhurried editing and eerily echoing music cues, is in expert sympathy with his hovering, out-of-time protagonists” – Variety

  • / Braguino (dir. by Clément Cogitore): Isolated in the middle of the Siberian taiga live two feuding families; the fear and joy of the harsh environment shapes their ancestral conflict.
  • Orchestra Class/ La Mélodie (dir. by Rachid Hami): Violinist Simon takes on a job teaching orchestra class at a Parisian middle school, where he meets a gifted young boy and rediscovers the joys of music.


  • Apocalypse After/ Ultra Pulpe (dir. by Bertrand Mandico): To delay the end of a relationship, Joy tells her lover, Apocalypse, five dark stories.

Ultra pulpe is truly as beautiful as a movie can get” – International Cinephile Society

  • The Fall/ La Chute (dir. by Boris Labbé): When celestial beings descend to Earth, the world’s order unbalances, leading to the partition of the circles of Heaven and Hell.

“This isn’t just the best short film of the year; it might just be the scariest film of this decade” – Film Inquiry

  • The Villa/ Les Grâcieuses (dir. by Emmanuel Poulain-Arnaud): A real estate agent shows her best villa to a Russian client; both must conclude the deal, even though they don’t speak the same language and discover a corpse in the closet.
  • Pauline Enslaved/ Pauline asservie (dir. by Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet): Pauline spends her vacation waiting on a message from Bruce, the married man she is obsessively in love with.
  • / Kapitalistis (dir. by Pablo Muñoz Gomez): A father tries to fight the odds to deliver some real joy to his five-year-old son Nikos, who calls Santa Claus a capitalist.
  • Blue Dog/ Chien Bleu (dir. by Fanny Liatard and Jérémy Trouilh): Émile does not go outside and paints everything blue; then his son Yoan encounters Soraya, who may be able to help.
  • La Persistente/ La Persistente (dir. by Camille Lugan): Ivan lives for his motorbike, the sentient, loving, breathing La Persistente; when a local river washes her away, Ivan becomes obsessed with getting her back.
  • The Amorous Indies/ Les Indes Galantes (dir. by Clément Cogitore): This filmed performance of krumping on the stage of the Opéra Bastille creates a battle between urban culture and the music of Rameau.

In 2018, 115 screenings were organized in 54 different cities and locations, in 22 different states, from New York to Tennessee, North Carolina, and Oregon. Most screenings were held at arthouse cinemas and film series and festivals, though universities and Alliances françaises also hosted screenings. It represented an increase of 32% in the number of bookings compared to 2017.

Several directors, artists, and speakers also visited the United States to present films, including director Karim Moussaoui (En attendant les hirondelles / Until the birds return), scholar Leïla Alaouf (A voix haute, la force de la parole / Speak Up), Hamé and Ekoué (of the rap group La Rumeur), and director Océane (Embrasse-moi ! / Kiss me!).

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

For almost 70 years, UniFrance has been using its experience of the international marketplace to support French cinema worldwide. UniFrance is based in Paris and also has representatives in New York, Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo. Its membership brings together around 1,000 French producers, filmmaking talents, agents and sales companies, which are working together to promote French film among foreign audiences, industry executives and media.

Media Contacts

Camille Desprez – + 1 (212) 439-1417 – – @franceinnyc –
Betty Bousquet – + 33 1 47 53 27 37 / + 33 6 85 95 57 61 – @unifrance #frenchcinema