Rendez-Vous with French Cinema returns with another edition that exemplifies the range and verve of contemporary French filmmaking. The titles this year, by emerging talents and time-honored masters, thrill and surprise, and many take audiences to entirely new places. The festival features the latest from established favorites Philippe Faucon (Fatima), Julie Delpy (Lolo), Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche (Story of Judas), and Catherine Corsini (Summertime), as well as remarkable debuts from Louis Garrel (Two Friends), Nicolas Pariser (The Great Game), and Eva Husson (Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)). Additional highlights include gems from Cannes and beyond: Alice Winocour’s Disorder, Nabil Ayouch’s Much Loved, 21 Nights with Pattie by Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu, and Three Sisters by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. For this year’s Opening Night film, we are proud to present Guillaume Nicloux’s elegiac Valley of Love, which reunites Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert on-screen for the first time in over 35 years, and whose tour-de-force performances are guaranteed to mesmerize. Co-presented with UniFrance, this year’s Rendez-Vous demonstrates that the landscape of French cinema is as fertile as ever, and the voices calling from it never more distinct.
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema receives generous support from Premiere sponsors Lacoste and Renault-Nissan.
Special thanks to Piper-Heidsieck, TV5 Monde, La Sacem, French Cultural Services, Institut Français, French Waves, and FIAF.
North America’s leading showcase for the best in French film, co-presented with UniFrance and opening with Guillaume Nicloux’s Valley of Love starring Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert, demonstrates that the landscape of French cinema has never been more fertile, and the voices issuing from it never more diverse.
Guillaume Nicloux’s sui generis, elegiac road film puts a moving and complex twist on a familiar setup. Titans Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert astound as famous French actors Gérard and Isabelle, a long-divorced couple whose recently deceased son Michael has sent them a letter from the grave requesting an enigmatic rendezvous in Death Valley.
Closing NightJacques Audiard won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for this daring, genre-bending portrait of three Sri Lankan refugees who form a fake family unit to emigrate and find themselves living together in a violent, gang-dominated housing project outside Paris.
U.S. PremiereThe latest oddball comedy from the Larrieu brothers (Love Is the Perfect Crime, Rendez-Vous 2014) follows a prim woman (Isabelle Carré) who travels to a small village in the Pyrénées to bury her estranged mother. There, she befriends the sexually adventurous Pattie (Karin Viard) and gets mixed up in a surreal police investigation. Also starring André Dussollier and Denis Lavant.
U.S. PremiereIn what Les Inrocks called his “patient, roving and reflective” second feature, Nassim Amaouche stars as a young French-Algerian man lured into making a mysterious business deal within one of Paris’s largest Kabyle communities, while falling in love with a beautiful single mother (Laetitia Casta).
U.S. PremiereEva Husson’s debut feature, shot and set in the wealthy coastal suburbs of Biarritz, is an unapologetically blissed-out, frankly explicit anthology of the sexual experiments a cluster of teenagers undertake over the course of one summer.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Arthur Harari on 3/12, intro on 3/10Featuring menacing tracking shots; a cool, metallic color palette; surprising third-act reversals; and a terrific ensemble cast, Arthur Harari's first feature is a poised, stylish, and utterly assured revenge thriller in which, following his estranged father’s death, a man vows vengeance against his relatives who had abandoned him and returns to the family diamond business with an elaborate robbery in mind.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Emmanuel Finkiel at 3/5 screeningEddy (Nicolas Duvauchelle) finds himself in a position of strength after a mugging earns him the sympathy of his estranged family. But when the case starts to collapse against his alleged attacker Ahmed (Driss Ramdi), he’s forced back on the defensive.
Q&A with Alice Winocour & Diane Kruger at 3/5 screeningAlice Winocour’s follow-up to Augustine (Rendez-Vous 2013) is another finely tuned drama of unstable intimacy and mental imbalance—this time centered on a troubled war veteran (Matthias Schoenaerts) and the wealthy businessman’s wife (Diane Kruger) he’s hired to protect.
Philippe Faucon’s eighth feature—winner of the prestigious Louis Delluc Prize for Best French Film—is a patient, reflective study of a North African-born single mother pressured by her neighbors and her two teenage children alike to assimilate into a culture of which she’s wary.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Nicolas Pariser & Melvil Poupaud on 3/4; intro on 3/5An elegant political thriller, Nicolas Pariser’s debut feature stars Melvil Poupaud (of Eric Rohmer’s A Summer’s Tale) as a onetime darling novelist disgusted with the publishing world who lets a duplicitous government insider (André Dussollier) tempt him into ghostwriting a manifesto designed to transform the landscape of French public opinion.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Julie Delpy & composer Mathieu Lamboley on 3/8, intro by Julie Delpy on 3/9In the latest from Julie Delpy, one of French cinema’s great renaissance talents, a world-weary fashionista (Delpy) finds her happy new relationship with a slightly unpolished computer programmer (Dany Boon) threatened by the machinations of her malevolent son (Vincent Lacoste).
Controversially banned in Morocco for its “contempt for moral values,” Nabil Ayouch’s portrait of several female sex workers in Marrakech offers a candid and unblinking picture of a subculture that it’s a perilous job to represent on screen.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Maïwenn & Louis Garrel on 3/9, intro by Maïwenn on 3/10Emmanuelle Bercot (winner of Best Actress at Cannes) and Vincent Cassel give a pair of harrowingly committed, nerve-fraying performances in actor-director Maïwenn’s fourth feature, a 10-year survey of a turbulent romance.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Rudi Rosenberg on 3/7In this delectable and vivacious debut feature, shy 14-year-old Benoît (Réphaël Ghrenassia) moves to Paris and a new high school, where he’s rejected by his cooler classmates and reluctantly sidelined into a precarious friendship with the “freaks and geeks.”
Q&A with Danielle ArbidThe luminous fourth feature from Danielle Arbid (In the Battlefields, NYFF42) stars promising newcomer Manal Issa as a intrepid and self-possessed young Lebanese woman restlessly accommodating herself to her new home in Paris during the mid-’90s.
Q&A with Emmanuelle Bercot at 3:30pm screening; intro at 9pm screeningEmmanuelle Bercot’s latest feature, which opened last year’s Cannes, is a candid, sympathetic, impassioned study of a teenage delinquent (Rod Paradot) trying to get on the right track with the help of a warm-hearted juvenile court judge (Catherine Deneuve) and a devoted social worker (Benoît Magimel).
U.S. PremiereRabah Ameur-Zaïmeche boldly renders the final days of Jesus of Nazareth from the perspective of Judas Iscariot in this utterly novel reenvisioning of the Passion story, yielding a strikingly stylized period work that marks a ravishing and fascinating new addition to the Jesus film canon. Winner of a Jury Prize in the Forum section at last year’s Berlinale.
A portrait of a young woman caught between her conservative rural parents and the older Parisian feminist organizer she’s come to love, Catherine Corsini’s prizewinning new melodrama ventures confidently and gracefully into fraught emotional territory. A Rendez-Vous with French Cinema 2016 selection.
U.S. Premiere · Introduction by producer Marie BalducchiFor her latest project, commissioned by Arte and starring members of the Comédie-Française, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (A Castle in Italy, Rendez-Vous 2014) shot an idiosyncratic, half-modernized adaptation of one of Chekhov’s greatest, most expansively melancholy plays.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Louis Garrel on 3/6, intro on 3/7The much-anticipated feature-length directorial debut by Louis Garrel strikes a pitch-perfect balance between tragedy and charm, with Garrel starring as a gas-station attendant with literary ambitions who enters into a manic love triangle with his best friend Vincent (Vincent Macaigne) and a convict working at a pastry counter in the Gare du Nord (Golshifteh Farahani).
U.S. PremiereGeorgian master and NYFF regular Otar Iosseliani’s latest is a caustic and extremely funny well-stocked encyclopedia of human variety, eccentricity, and folly, elevated by an exquisite cast that include Rufus, Pierre Étaix, and Mathieu Amalric.
Sponsored by HBO®Co-starring alongside Gérard Depardieu in this year’s Opening Night film Valley of Love, Isabelle Huppert will sit down to discuss the multitudinous career of one of the most popular French actresses of her generation.
Sponsored by HBO®Actor-director Melvil Poupaud will talk about his latest role in The Great Game, as well as his collaborations with such visionaries as Raúl Ruiz, Eric Rohmer, François Ozon, and Xavier Dolan.
Sponsored by HBO®Composers Grégoire Hetzel (Summertime), Nicolas Jaar (Dheepan), Morgan Kibby (Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)), Mathieu Lamboley (Lolo), and Mark Snow (best known for The X-Files theme music, as well as his work with Alain Resnais) will discuss their craft. Moderated by Variety’s Elsa Keslassy.
Sponsored by HBO®Writer, director, actor, and composer Julie Delpy—who brings her cross-cultural black comedy Lolo to this year’s Rendez-Vous—will sit down to discuss her experiences with humor on both sides of the camera.
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Special Opening Night Pricing: Valley of Love
$20 – Member, Student & Senior
$25 – General Public
Note: Member complimentary tickets cannot be used for this festival.
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