As part of the 27th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York, Unifrance and Film at Lincoln Center are proud to present the third annual Rendez-Vous Audience Award, offering moviegoers of this year’s festival a chance to vote for their favorite film from this year’s lineup. Previous winners include Sarah Suco’s The Dazzled and Sébastien Lifshitz’s Little Girl in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

This year’s festival attendees cast their votes via digital ballot over the final weekend of the festival and decided that the 2022 Audience Award be granted to Cédric Klapisch’s latest crowdpleaser Rise. The film follows Elise, played by real-life ballerina Marion Barbeau, who suffers two injuries at the same time: a devastating breakup and a fall on stage that leaves her injured and unable to dance as the principal in the Paris Opera Ballet.

“I am very, very pleased to have won the Rendez-Vous Audience Award. With Rise, my objective was to talk about dance in an inclusive way and share the passion of dance even with those who don’t think it’s for them,” shared Klapisch. “I am very moved that the NYC audience has picked this particular film among the 22 presented!”

Moviegoers also voted enthusiastically for Leyla Bouzid’s sensual and sensitive drama A Tale of Love and Desire, which receives an honorable mention from this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema audience members. 

“What a pleasure to present my film at the mythical Film at Lincoln Center! As Jim Jarmusch said at the opening of Rendez-Vous with French cinema: ‘it is important to celebrate the beautiful things that people create’,” shared Bouzid.  “Doing it  [watching the film] collectively in a dark room after the long COVID crisis adds an exceptional flavor to the experience. To learn that the New York audience has been moved by my film, by the complex emotions of Ahmed and Farah, by their sensuality and desire and by Arab poetry makes me all the more delighted. Long live the magic of cinema!”

As part of this year’s edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, Unifrance and Film at Lincoln Center were proud to launch the inaugural Best Emerging Filmmaker Award, an award that aims to bring attention to the unique cinematic point of view of emerging French filmmakers and their interpretation of France’s new and diverse identities.

Six college students were invited to participate in the Best Emerging Filmmaker Student Jury, and to choose their favorite first or second feature from this year’s Rendez-Vous line-up. 

The Jury then met to discuss the winner of this year’s Best Emerging Filmmaker Award and acknowledged Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet’s Anaïs in Love as this year’s winner. The film follows the titular character Anaïs (Anaïs Demoustier) in her manic search for stability. Writer-director Bourgeois-Tacquet’s effervescent feature debut (which premiered in the Critics’ Week section at last year’s Cannes) draws in part upon her background in publishing to ground a tale of self-discovery as literate and delightful as it is unexpected, keeping both Anaïs and viewers off-balance until the very final, cliché-shattering final shot. The film will be released by Magnolia Pictures in theaters on April 29, 2022, and on VOD May 6. 

On winning the award, director Bourgeois-Tacquet shared that it was a great joy to learn that the student jury distinguished her film for the inaugural award. “I am very moved that my film was well received by these students who are both far from me (age-wise and geographically) and close to me (through our shared passion for cinema). I am also very touched that the students were able to recognize themselves in the story I created and in its cinematic form.”

The Jury also gave an honorable mention to Our Men, an impressively assured and unsensational drama about an oft-misunderstood organization, given palpable realism by writer-director Rachel Lang, who draws upon her own background as an officer in the French army reserves.

“We are very honored to learn that Our Men has been awarded with an honorable mention by the student jury of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema,” expressed Lang. “The destiny of this young Ukrainian couple resonates very differently today, and we are thinking of all these families affected by the war. Thank you for this award which allows the film to get seen in these difficult times.”

Congratulations to this year’s winners and thank you to all who participated in the Audience Award and the Best Filmmaker Award selection, and the audiences of this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.