The 72nd edition of the Venice International Film Festival , the oldest film festival in the world, boasts no less than 23 French films (37 films when minority French productions are included). The festival will run from September 2 through 12, 2015.
5 films selected for Official Competition (that figure increases to 11 when minority coproductions are included - the equivalent of more than half the films in Competition), many other titles Out of Competition, a delegation of 20 artists, a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for Bertrand Tavernier, and not forgetting the short films and presentations of restored films... Unifrance is thrilled by the major place accorded to French films at the Venice International Film Festival , one of the most prestigious festivals of its kind in the world.
As well as being the country with the most number of titles in the selection, France will also be honored on September 8, during a ceremony celebrating the career of director Bertrand Tavernier, whom Alberto Barbera, Venice Film Festival Director, considers "a central figure in French filmmaking." After a screening of his film Life and Nothing But, Tavernier will receive a Golden Lion in the presence of Paolo Baratta, President of the Biennale di Venezia, Alberto Barbera, Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate of the Festival de Cannes, and Sabine Azéma.
For the first time in the festival's history, the recipient of this award will have carte blanche to select films for the Venice Classics strand. Four rare or neglected masterpieces will be screened.
This year's Official Competition offers a showcase for the diversity of French cinema. The program of this edition features established directors (Xavier Giannoli, Amos Gitaï, Christian Vincent, Alexandre Sokurov) and filmmakers les familiar with major international film festivals, such as Chinese director Zhao Liang, who will come and present a 100% French film, Behemoth. A sign, if one were needed, that Venice is open to newcomers while continuing to welcome work by already established artists.
The Orrizonti strand presents 9 films in Competition, 2 of which are shorts. Here again the festival throws the spotlight on rising talents, with the secund feature of Nicolas Saada, Taj Mahal (starring Louis-Do de Lencquesaing and Stacy Martin). Saada is already known for his screenplays for Pierre Salvadori and Arnaud Desplechin. Samuel Collardey is also present in this strand, with Land Legs, his third feature.
When it comes to short films, three young filmmakers will present their films to the public: Hiwot Admasu Getaneh (New Eyes), Giovanni Aloi (E.T.E.R.N.I.T.), and Karim Boukercha (Group Violence).
Another very French program features in the Venice Days sidebar, which will present Lolo by Julie Delpy and starring Dany Boon, As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid, and Underground Fragrance by Song Penfei. To crown this prestigious selection, Les 3 boutons, a short film by Agnès Varda, will be presented in the Miu Miu Women’s Tales section.
Meanwhile, Deniz Gamze Ergüven is in the running, with her feature Mustang, for the LUX Prize 2015, an initiative in partnership with the European Parliament for the sixth consecutive year. The three films in competition will begin their journey through Europe from mid-October, traveling until December 2015. Each will be subtitled in the 24 official languages of the UE, and screened in more than 40 cities and at 18 festivals, thereby allowing many Europeans to discover them or to see them again.
In a different category, Yann Arthus-Bertrand will present his latest documentary, Human, during a special screening that will take place both in Venice and in front of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.
ARTISTS ATTENDING THE FESTIVAL
Among others, the following professionals will be joining the artistic delegation at the Venice International Film Festival:
- Xavier Giannoli and Catherine Frot for Marguerite
- Alexandre Sokurov and Louis-Do de Lencquesaing for Francofonia
- Julie Delpy and Dany Boon for Lolo
- Nicolas Saada and Stacy Martin for Taj Mahal
- Christian Vincent and Fabrice Luchini for Courted
- Deniz Gamze Ergüven and the 5 actresses for Mustang
As well as this important delegation, other French film professionals will be among the various juries, further confirming the notable French presence at the 72nd edition: Diane Kruger, actress, and Emmanuel Carrère, writer, will be members of the Official Competition jury. Alix Delaporte is on the Orizzonti jury. Natacha Laurent, film critic and former Director of the Toulouse Cinémathèque, is on the Debut Film, Lion of the Future jury.
Last but not least, Venice Classics invites spectators to the Lido to rediscover classics of French cinema, and this year, they are legion. In terms of documentaries, spectators can see (or see again) Jacques Tourneur the Medium (Filming the Invisible) by Alain Mazars, and The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin by Yves Montmayeur. When it comes to restored features, Bertrand Tavernier has selected no less than 4 French films: Le Beau Serge by Claude Chabrol, Venise Trichrome by Léon Gaumont, Léon Morin, Priest by Jean-Pierre Melville, and White Paws by Jean Grémillon.
Alongside the film screenings and meetings with the press, the film market will welcome French exporters and international distributors. Fifteen French exporters will be at Venice to present their line ups to foreign buyers.
UniFrance films will be accompanying them: its President Jean-Paul Salomé and the team in charge of the Italian territory will be attending the event.
With 6.2 million spectators registered last year for French films, Italy represents the fifth sales territory for French cinema. 53 French films were released in this territory in 2014, of which 2 featured in the year's top 20: Belle and Sébastien (1.2 million admissions) and Lucy (1.1 million). We should also note the very fine performance of Beauty and the Beast and its appeal for 800,000 spectators. In 2015, with already more than half a million admissions tallied for Serial (Bad) Weddings, or the brisk box office business for Wolf Totem by Jean-Jacques Annaud, Italy confirms its key role in spreading the influence of French cinema abroad.
All the French films (minoritory/majoritory) presented in Venice
- Abluka (Frenzy) by Emin Alper (minoritory)
- Sangue del mio sangue by Marco Bellocchio (minoritory)
- Par amour by Guiseppe Gaudino (minoritory)
- Marguerite by Xavier Giannoli
- Rabin, the Last Day by Amos Gitaï
- A Bigger Splash by Luca Guadagnino (minoritory)
- The Endless River by Oliver Hermanus (minoritory)
- The Wait by Piero Messina (minoritory)
- Francofonia by Alexandre Sokurov
- Courted by Christian Vincent
- Behemoth by Zhao Liang
OUT OF COMPETITION
GOLDEN LION FOR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
- Madame Courage by Merzak Allouache (minoritory)
- Land Legs by Samuel Collardey
- The Childhood of a Leader by Brady Corbet (minoritory)
- Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me ? by Hadar Morag (minoritory)
- Taj Mahal by Nicolas Saada
- Interruption by Yorgos Zois (minoritory)
- New Eyes by Hiwot Admasu Getaneh (Short Films)
- E.T.E.R.N.I.T. by Giovanni Aloi (Short Films)
- Group Violence by Karim Boukercha (Short Films)
- As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid
- Lolo by Julie Delpy
- Underground Fragrance , de Song Penfei
- Viva la sposa by Ascanio Celestini (minoritory)
- Argentina by Carlos Saura (minoritory)
MIU MIU WOMEN'S TALES
- Les 3 boutons by Agnès Varda
INTERNATIONAL CRITICS' WEEK
- Montanha, un adolescent à Lisbonne by João Salaviza (minoritory)
- The Black Hen by Min Bahadur Bham (minoritory)
- Jacques Tourneur the Medium (Filming the Invisible) by Alain Mazars
- The 1000 Eyes of Dr Maddin by Yves Montmayeur
- Le Beau Serge by Claude Chabrol
- Venise Trichrome by Léon Gaumont
- Léon Morin, Priest by Jean-Pierre Melville
- White Paws by Jean Grémillon