France amongst 2016 VIFF luminaries "encore": Spotlight on France [fr]
"VIFF honours the rich cinematic culture that continues to flourish in France by highlighting the nation’s finest big-screen offerings."
Huppert, Depardieu, Sy, Régnier, Zem, Ozon, Niney... Those names bode for a fantastic Spolight on French movies, once again.
This year’s Vancouver International Film Festival (September 29-October 14, 2016) marks its 35th anniversary and a new format. The organizer decided to expand the frame of the event to create multi-experiential streams that include curated screenings combined with related talks and events.
"With this shift, we are welcoming variety in ideas, in content and, most importantly, in creators and audience. We hope audiences will discover more, discuss more, and connect through an enriched creative community." Jacqueline Dupuis, Executive Director, VIFF.
The festival’s new programming are categorised into the following:
Panorama – The world’s boldest creators and their exceptional works. The year’s most anticipated international films and new discoveries curated specifically for VIFF audiences.
Ignite – A showcase of the inspired works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.
True North – A celebration of the extraordinary creativity and craft being demonstrated by Canadian storytellers from coast to coast.
Impact – Uncompromising films and insightful discussions that spark action and change the way we see the world.
Next – Virtual reality, gaming, music and emerging digital platforms serve as a catalyst for ground-breaking ideas and unforgettable next-level experiences.
Gateway – Journey into the compelling cinematic worlds envisioned by some of East Asia’s most adventurous artists.
M/A/D – Music, art and design receive their deserved big-screen treatment in this aesthetically alluring stream that’s enhanced by exhibitions and live performances.
ALT – From the fringes emerge fantastic cinema that defies traditional classification and storytellers exploring unconventional forms.
SPOTLIGHT ON FRANCE
A bare-bones synopsis—disgruntled teenager goes in search of his unknown father—cannot begin to reveal the quirky visual and thematic charms scattered throughout iconoclast Eugène Green’s bejewelled, biblically-inflected modern-day allegory. Starring Victor Ezenfis, Mathieu Amalric, Natacha Régnier and Fabrizzio Rongione. "Offbeat French formalist Green delivers his most accessible work to date with this delightful comedy of misplaced paternity... [A] honey-drizzled, farcically funny fable..." Variety
Omar Sy (The Intouchables) is brilliant as the former slave who found fame as a comedic circus performer known only as "Chocolat" in Belle Époque Paris. Together with partner George Footit (here played with an astounding physicality by James Thiérrée, Chaplin’s grandson, who also choreographed the routines), Chocolat had it all—until personal demons and racism brought about his fall. "Roschdy Zem’s bittersweet historical drama is a marvellous showcase for… [Sy’s] talents and effortless charisma." Screen
Read the review by Zoe Grams in 24H News Vancouver.
After 15 years of marriage, a couple (Cédric Kahn and Bérénice Bejo) with two kids is about to divorce. Until the husband find a new place to live, they have to cohabit, and figure out how to share their belongings. (Source: IMDB).
Chaos ensues when a father and son travel (Gérard Depardieu, Benoît Poelvoorde) to a farm festival via the Wine Trail in a Parisian taxi. (Source: IMDB).
Hot young star Pierre Niney, known to North American audiences for his lead role in Yves Saint-Laurent, teams up with writer-director François Ozon (Young & Beautiful, Under the Sand) for this gorgeous post-World War I period piece. Niney plays Adrien, a mysterious Frenchman whose visit to the graveside of his friend Frantz, a German soldier killed in the war, causes passions to run high in the small German town where Frantz is buried. Among those most affected is Frantz’s fiancée, Anna (Paula Beer) who decides to get to know the stranger.
This movie by Olivier Assayas and starring Kristen Stewart revolves around a ghost story that takes place in the fashion underworld of Paris.
Alain Guiraudie (Stranger by the Lake) again rejects a heteronormative worldview in this provocative and offbeat almost-fairy tale about a sexually fluid would-be screenwriter, Léo (Damien Bonnard), who, after fathering a child with a shepherdess, finds himself raising the baby alone in a region of the French countryside populated by foul-mouthed farmers and dangerous wolves… "Effective and thought-provoking. Adventurous viewers will… be charmed by this delightfully queer oddity." Hollywood Reporter
The great Isabelle Huppert gives a profoundly moving performance as a philosophy teacher who finds her life unmoored by a wholly unexpected divorce in Mia Hansen-Løve’s terrific exploration of one woman’s complex emotional and intellectual response to late-middle-aged trauma. "Hansen-Løve and Isabelle Huppert prove a dream partnership in the director’s gorgeous, heart-cradling post-divorce drama... This is major, many-shaded work even by [Huppert’s] lofty standards." Variety
Set in the French Pyrenees, André Téchiné’s (Wild Reeds) latest charts the coming of age and sexual awakening of two lads, one the son of farmers, the other a brainy kid from town. Initially enemies, Tom (Corentin Fila) and Damien (Kacey Mottet Klein) grow to share a profound connection that is both moving and unsentimental. "This quiet stunner represents a return to peak form for Téchiné... It’s an intimate epic that builds in wholly unexpected ways to a final act of searing poignancy." Hollywood Reporter
A surprise hit this year in France, journalist-turned-filmmaker François Ruffin’s funny and acute documentary takes a page from the Michael Moore playbook as it tries to hunt down France’s richest man—LVMH head Bernard Arnault—and hold him to account for the closure of a French factory. Posing as the son of broke former LVMH workers Serge and Jocelyn Klur, Ruffin skewers the labour practices of Arnault, seeks compensation for the Klurs and shows just how far Arnault will go to protect his image...
The time-honoured "mismatched buddies hit the road" movie receives an inspired remix in Rachid Djaïdani’s dramedy, which lands an on-the-lam French-Arab rapper (the mono-monikered Sadek) in the passenger seat of a curmudgeonly racist (Gérard Depardieu) who’s intent on retracing the steps of an 18th-century painter. As they contend with generational, religious and racial differences, their road trip makes heartfelt, comical and insightful stops en route to a fateful night of reckoning in Marseille.
Dutch director Paul Verhoeven returns to the big screen with this darkest of dark comedies, which many critics consider among his best. A videogame executive (Isabelle Huppert, superb) suffers a rape, only to react unlike any screen heroine you’ve ever seen… "Verhoeven’s brazen rape revenge comedy is a dangerous delight… Huppert delivers a standout performance as a woman turning the tables on her attacker in the controversial director’s electrifying and provocative comeback."—Guardian
Find the full list with trailers and buy tickets at VIFF.
The Consulate is proud to continue working very closely with VIFF and supports the event alongside the Institut Français, Air France and UniFrance.
September 29 - October 14, 2016
Programs and tickets at VIFF.org
In the media
VIFF showcasing true North talents, Zoe Grams, 24H News Vancouver, September 23rd, 2016.