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37e International Film Festival Rotterdam

January 23 – February 3, 2008


French Films and Directors at IFFR 2008

With no less than twenty-five feature films and numerous co-productions, French cinema will enjoy a place of honour at the 37th International Film Festival Rotterdam. Most recent international public and critic's praised French productions will crown the selection together with numerous first or second features by young filmmakers, including a selection in the Tiger Awards Competition, showing much of the variety and the talent of emerging French filmmaking in all cinematographic language genres.

Maestro’s of French cinema will head the Kings & Aces section with successful productions such as critic's acclaimed Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge by Hou Hsiao Hsien, starring Juliette Binoche, Les Amours d’Astrée et de Celadon, by the ever productive and inspired Eric Rohmer, L’aimée by Arnaud Desplechin, back to the documentary genre with an insight into his father's past, as well as Barbet Schroeder’s L’avocat de la terreur, a fascinating documentary exploring the enigmatic personality of French lawyer Jacques Vergès, screened in the Time & Tide section.

Led by Abdellatif Kechiche’s La graine et le mulet, Special Jury Prize in Venice Mostra, this year's Rotterdam selection offers a place of choice to experienced French filmmakers: Capitaine Achab by Philippe Ramos, freely inspired by the Moby Dick tale awarded in Locarno 2007; Tonino De Bernardi’s Medée Miracle, variation around Medea’s myth with Isabelle Huppert in the leading role; Philippe Faucon's new film Dans la vie, an everyday story about Arab-Jewish relations; La maison jaune, by Amor Hakkar, first feature shot in Chaoui language (Berber of the Aurès region), as well as Un baiser s’il vous plait, by Emmanuel Mouret, starring Virginie Ledoyen.

Rotterdam 2008 will also pay a tribute to Jacques Nolot, a remarkable figure of independent French cinema, screening, on the occasion of the release of his most recent feature Avant que j’oublie, the whole trilogy including L’arrière pays and La chatte � deux têtes.

As each year, representatives of the new generation of French filmmakers will be out in force to uphold their first or second picture: Rotterdam’s regular and praised actress and director Isild le Besco will introduce Charly, her roaming and initiatory second film. In the same vein of adolescence torments, Céline Sciamma will present her first feature, awarded the First film Louis Delluc price, Naissance des pieuvres. Tueur, a breathtaking thriller by the young Cedric Anger, Andalucia, second feature by French Senegalese director Alain Gomis, La France by Serge Bozon, an original approach of the First World War, as well as 57000 km entre nous by Delphine Kreuter, picturing the impact of modern communication technologies on family relations, will all testify of a flourishing take over in French filmmaking. Critic’s praised first opus - and also First film Louis Delluc price – Tout est pardonné, by Mia Hansen-Love, a very sensible identity quest of a young women, will round up the French selection in the Sturm und Drang section.

The talent and the productivity of young French cinema will also reflect in the Tiger Awards Competition with the film Mange, ceci est mon corps, a trip in the Haitian culture by the promising Michelange Quay, already awarded in several festivals with his short L'Evangile du cochon créole.

This year’s IFFR French selection lines up a variety of genres: besides fiction and documentary, French animation films will top the bill with the internationally successful Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud as well as the promising Peur(s) du noir, six short films about fear of the dark, produced by a collective of young filmmakers under French designer Etienne Robial’s artistic leadership. A famous French experimental film from 1952, Gil Joseph Wolman’s L’anticoncept, screens within Rotterdam’s Exploding Cinema section.

Underlining the major role of France in international cinema, remarkable French co-productions are again selected in all IFFR sections, among them Le papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise, an insight into the Cambodian prostitution world by the multi awarded director Rithy Pahn, Izza Genini’s Nuba d’or et de la lumière, a French-Moroccan documentary about Arabo-Andalusian music, Dans la ville de Sylvie by José-Louis Guérin and the French-Lebanese Falling from Earth by Chadi Zeneddine.

French guests at IFFR 2008 and their attendance dates, subject to change

Hou Hsiao Hsien (Le voyage du ballon rouge) 23 - 27 January

Serge Bozon (La France) 25 - 28 January

Céline Sciamma (Naissance des pieuvres) 25 - 28 January

Jacques Nolot (Avant que j’oublie/L’arrière pays/La chatte � deux têtes)
25 - 28 January

Michelange Quay (Mange, ceci est mon corps) 26 January – 3 February

Delphine Kreuter (57000 km entre nous) 27 – 30 January

Mia Hansen Love (Tout est pardonné) 27 – 31 January

Tonino De Bernardi (Medée Miracle) 27 – 31 January

Alain Gomis (Andalucia) 28 – 30 January

Cédric Anger (Tueur) 28– 31 January

Chadi Zeneddine (Falling from Earth) 28 January – 1 February

Izza Genini (Nuba d’or et de la lumière) 30 January – 3 February

Amor Hakkar (La maison jaune) 30 January – 2 February

Emmanuel Mouret (Un baiser s’il vous plait) 31 January – 2 February

Other guests to be confirmed:

Isild le Besco (Charly)
Some directors of Peur(s) du noir

37th International Film Festival Rotterdam: 23 January - 3 February 2008

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