Rendez-Vous with French Cinema returns in March with another edition that exemplifies the variety and vitality of contemporary French filmmaking. The films on display, by emerging talents and established masters, raise ideas both topical and eternal, and take audiences to entirely unexpected places. Co-presented with UniFrance, the 25th edition of Rendez-Vous will demonstrate that the landscape of French cinema is as fertile, inspiring, and distinct as ever.
The 2020 Opening Night selection is the New York premiere of The Truth, the first-ever French-language film from Japanese auteur Hirokazu Kore-eda. Featuring screen legends Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche as a strained mother-daughter duo, The Truth is a dynamic family drama co-starring Ethan Hawke. Binoche and Hawke will appear in person at the festival for opening night, and for a special conversation about their collaboration with Kore-eda.
Highlights of the 22-film lineup include a number of prizewinning titles and festival hits, including Christophe Honoré’s fantastical On a Magical Night, for which Chiara Mastroianni won an award in Cannes’s Un Certain Regard section; Quentin Dupieux’s absurdist 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, an unflinching 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 of love and loss from Stéphane Batut; Nicolas Pariser’s sharp political drama Alice and the Mayor; Damien Manivel’s transfixing 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; Maïmouna Doucouré’s vibrant hip-hop dance drama Cuties, which premiered at Sundance; and more.
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–winning classic A Man and a Woman, reuniting Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimée; An Easy Girl, a sumptuous coming-of-age tale from Rebecca Zlotowski, set on the beaches of Cannes; Safy Nebbou’s catfishing drama Who You Think I Am starring Juliette Binoche; Cédric Kahn’s Happy Birthday, starring Catherine Deneuve and Emmanuelle Bercot; Lucie Borleteau’s thriller Perfect Nanny; almost-romantic 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 a rare 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 the legendary cinema figure Helen Scott; and a filmmaker panel focusing on adapting literature to the screen in partnership with French in Motion and IFP.
For the first time ever, the festival is introducing an Audience Award, sponsored by AirFrance, allowing moviegoers the chance to give a prize to their favorite film.
Organized by Florence Almozini with UniFrance.
Thursday, March 5
Walter Reade Theater
Walter Reade Theater
Walter Reade Theater
Friday, March 6
Saturday, March 7
Sunday, March 8
Monday, March 9
Tuesday, March 10
Wednesday, March 11
Thursday, March 12
Friday, March 13
Saturday, March 14
Cast your vote for the inaugural Air France Audience Award! After each screening, submit your ballot in-person and be entered for a chance to win a round-trip ticket from New York to Paris for two.
Opening Night · New York Premiere · Introduction by Juliette Binoche & Ethan Hawke at 6:30pm screeningIn his follow-up to the Palme d’Or–winning Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda casts two titans of French cinema, Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, in a film structured around the rippling tensions underlying a family gathering.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Nicolas Pariser on March 7A philosophy graduate (Anaïs Demoustier) becomes advisor to a mayor (Fabrice Luchini) who is running out of ideas in this heartfelt and thought-provoking tale of political action over empty rhetoric.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Claude LelouchWith a thoughtful, ruminative script by Claude Lelouch and Valérie Perrin, this sequel to Lelouch’s classic 1966 Palme d’Or–winner A Man and a Woman weaves a career-spanning tapestry for Jean-Louis Trintignant and Anouk Aimée, reprising their roles.
New York PremiereOscar-winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Adèle Haenel (Portrait of Lady on Fire) star in this rollicking, absurdist, and lightly surrealist take on the midlife crisis movie, directed by Rendez-Vous mainstay Quentin Dupieux (Reality, Keep an Eye Out!).
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Bruno Dumont on March 11Ten-year-old Lise Leplat Prudhomme commands the center of Bruno Dumont’s inventive reimagining of the story of Joan of Arc, an uncanny, absurdist mood piece, strikingly shot amid rolling hills and vaulted cathedrals.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Chiara Mastroianni on March 6Chiara Mastroianni won Best Actress in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section for her fierce performance in this playful, fantastical spin on a Rohmerian moral tale, the latest from Christophe Honoré.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Mounia Meddour on March 12Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri) is a university student during the Algerian Civil War whose passion is fashion design. Defying religious conservatism, she custom-makes dresses for her peers that are examples of individual expression.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Lucie Borleteau on March 9In this vividly detailed, unsettling thriller, young parents Myriam (Leïla Bekhti) and Paul (Antoine Reinartz) think they’ve found the perfect nanny in Louise (Karin Viard). But as Myriam reimmerses herself in her job, Louise entrenches herself deeper and deeper into their family life, her behavior growing ever stranger.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Mehdi Idir on March 8Slam poet Grand Corps Malade and Mehdi Idir’s second collaboration after 2016’s Step by Step is both vivid institutional critique and lively ensemble piece—a rousing look at the importance of encouraging untapped potential despite institutional odds.
New York Premiere · Q&A with Cédric Klapisch on March 9In this almost-romance from Cédric Klapisch (Paris, Rendez-Vous 2008), warehouse employee Rémy (François Civil) and research assistant Mélanie (Ana Girardot) have never met, but they live parallel lives; the seemingly star-crossed duo orbit around each other but remain just out of reach.
North American Premiere · Q&A with Pascal Bonitzer and Iliana Lolic on March 8An uncanny triangle emerges in this update of Henry James’s short story “The Way It Came.” Book critic Coline (Sara Giraudeau) is assigned a profile of a reclusive, brooding painter (Let the Sunshine In’s Nicolas Duvauchelle), who claims to have seen his mother’s spirit just before her death.
U.S. Premiere · Q&A with Safy Nebbou and Juliette Binoche on March 6When Claire (Juliette Binoche) creates a Facebook profile for a 24-year-old alter ego, her plans veer into uncharted territory, leading to a dizzying game of mirrors between the real and the virtual in Safy Nebbou’s ingenious adaptation of Camille Laurens’s best-seller.
Free and open to the public! · Presented by HBOIn this talk, Alice Winocour, director of the astronaut drama Proxima, will explore the variety of approaches that artists have taken to crafting such stories, and how those perspectives differ across countries, genres, genders, and production contexts.
Free and open to the public! · Presented by HBOCelebrated author Serge Toubiana, president of Unifrance and former director of the Cinematheque française, will discuss the life and work of Helen Scott, subject of his latest book, L'amie américaine.
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Student All-Access Pass – Are you a student? See everything in the series for $50. (Excludes Opening Night and the talk with Juliette Binoche & Ethan Hawke. Student ID required. Quantities are limited.) E
Emerging critics under 30 also invited to submit a review of any film in the festival and enter to win a trip to Paris. See details here.
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