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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 Klapischand 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.