“Paris, ooh la la!” “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?” Declaimed in the language of Molière, these sentences do not fail to impact when speaking of France abroad, because love is part of the French culture, and emerging filmmakers emerging in the country do not fail to deal with it. Through the male sexual confusion of Yohann Kouam’s The Return, dance bodies and timidity in Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo’s The Sense of Touch, the complexity of traditional weddings in Zangro’s Destino, and also through the difficulty to love that Alice Diop interrogates in Towards Tenderness. The short films of this program shake us, move us, and amaze us by seizing a French—but also universal—feeling.

The Return / Le Retour
Yohann Kouam, France, 2013, 22m
French with English subtitles
When the older brother he idolizes comes back home after a year away, Willy realizes that he doesn’t know him as well as he thought. An NYFF52 selection.

The Sense of Touch / Le sens du toucher
Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo, France, 2015, 15m
French with English subtitles
Chloe and Louis are deaf and mute. They are also secretly in love, but they don’t admit it. Their gestures are substitutes for words, and as they dance, each word is choreography. U.S. Premiere

Zangro, France, 2015, 26m
French with English subtitles
Two young guys from the neighborhood, Loïc and Mehdi, have set up a little business filming Arabic wedding celebrations and then editing them in the “audiovisual laboratory” in their minivan. But when Mehdi starts to film the marriage of his pretty ex-girlfriend, fate steps in. U.S. Premiere

Towards Tenderness / Vers la tendresse
Alice Diop, France, 2015, 40m
French with English subtitles
An intimate exploration of a masculine territory in a French suburb, Towards Tenderness follows a group of vagrant men, while a universe is revealed where female bodies are nothing more than ghostly and virtual silhouettes. U.S. Premiere