EXCLUSIVE: UniFrance and Film at Lincoln Center have set the lineup for the 25th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema (March 5–15), the annual New York mini-festival dedicated to French filmmaking. The event will open with Hirokazu Kore-eda’s drama The Truth, starring Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve and Ethan Hawke.
For the first time, the festival is introducing an Audience Award. Additionally, the festival is expanding its industry-facing events with a day-long networking event to bring together French sales agents, French producers, and American industry on Friday, March 6.
Highlights of the 22-film lineup include Christophe Honoré’s On a Magical Night, for which Chiara Mastroianni won an award in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section; Quentin Dupieux’s satire Deerskin, starring Oscar winner Jean Dujardin and Adèle Haenel; Bruno Dumont’s Joan of Arc, which received a Cannes Special Jury Mention; Mounia Meddour’s Papicha, the story of young women’s resistance set during the Algerian Civil War; Alice Winocour’s space drama Proxima starring Eva Green; Prix JeanVigo–winner Burning Ghost, a supernatural tale from Stéphane Batut; Nicolas Pariser’s political drama Alice and the Mayor; Damien Manivel’s Locarno prizewinner Isadora’s Children; The Specials, from the directing duo behind The Intouchables, Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano, and starring Vincent Cassel and Reda Kateb; and Maïmouna Doucouré’s hip-hop dance drama Cuties, which premieres later this month at Sundance.
This year’s lineup also features a number of new works from returning Rendez-Vous filmmakers, including Claude Lelouch with The Best Years of a Life, a sequel to his Palme d’Or–winner A Man and a Woman, reuniting Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimée; An Easy Girl, the coming-of-age tale from Rebecca Zlotowski, set on the beaches of Cannes; Safy Nebbou’s catfishing drama Who Do You Think I Am starring Juliette Binoche; Cédric Kahn’s Happy Birthday, starring Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Bercot; Lucie Borleteau’s thriller Perfect Nanny; drama Someone, Somewhere from Cédric Klapisch; and Pascal Bonitzer’s update of a Henry James ghost story, Spellbound.
Confirmed to appear in person at the fest are: Stéphane Batut, Juliette Binoche, Pascal Bonitzer, Lucie Borleteau, Maïmouna Doucouré, Bruno Dumont, Ethan Hawke, Mehdi Idir, Cédric Klapisch, Claude Lelouch, Chiara Mastroianni, Mounia Meddour, Safy Nebbou, Nicolas Pariser, Sarah Suco, Alice Winocour, and Rebecca Zlotowski.
Special events and free talks include an opening day conversation between Binoche and Hawke on March 5; Alice Winocour in conversation with a surprise guest about exploring space on film; a discussion and book signing with UniFrance President Serge Toubiana upon the release of his new book on cinema figure Helen Scott; and a filmmaker panel focusing on adapting literature to the screen in partnership with French in Motion and IFP.
“It is a great honor to open our 25th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema with Hirokazu Kore-eda’s new film The Truth in the presence of French and American film icons Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke,” said the new Executive Director of UniFrance, Daniela Elstner.
“Their presence highlights what French Cinema represents for American audiences today: an alternative voice and vision on world issues and collective consciousness, which is reflected throughout this year’s selection. As ever, we are thrilled to introduce American audiences to bold new French voices and the latest works from returning filmmakers.”