Festivals & events
20 September 2016 à 18:14
Toronto 2016: report on French films at the 41st edition
The 41st Toronto International Film Festival rolled up its red carpet on September 18, after an exceptional edition for French cinema, and in particular for female directors (here in the photo Julia Ducournau, director of Grave, accompanied by her producers Julie Gayet and Jean des Forêts). Women filmmakers came in great numbers to support their films, which were among the most incisive and daring of this year's selection.
French cinema at TIFF 2016: figures
- 29 French (or majority French) features selected
- 9 short films
- More than 60 French artists and producers present, among whom 10 female directors
- 30 sales agents
- 3 French films in Competition (Platform section)
French cinema at TIFF 2016: facts
- I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck (Les Films Velvet) won the People's Choice Documentary Award, and will be distributed in the USA by Magnolia Pictures.
- Heal the Living by Katell Quillévéré (Les Films Pelléas and Les Films du Bélier), in Competition in the Platform section, was acquired by Cohen Media Group for the USA.
- Blind Sun by Joyce A. Nashawati (To Be Continued (TBC) & Good Lap Production), presented in the Vanguard section, received the Creativity in Cinematography prize for the work of its cameraman Yorgos Arvanitis, presented by John Legend - AXE Collective Vanguard Honours.
French cinema showed its diversity, richness, singularity (a number of international coproductions and a proportion of women filmmakers unique in the world), and its capacity to renew itself with many young talents hailed by audiences and critics alike.
Agnès Varda became the star of the 41st TIFF, where she presented several restored films to young festivalgoers keen to rediscover her work. She encouraged young women filmmakers such as Houda Benyamina and Rebecca Zlotowski, gave a masterclass to a sold-out session at the Alliance Française in Toronto, received an award during the Ebert Tribute Lunch dedicated to exceptional personalities of international cinema (in the presence of Chaz Ebert, Cameron Bailey, and Piers Handling, along with Danny Glover, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Zhang Ziyi, Atom Egoyan, JR…) Lastly, the Toronto International Film Festival's new Directors’ Lounge was baptised in her honor.
Isabelle Huppert confirmed her exceptional fame with 3 films in selection and an admirable public conversation with Piers Handling, the festival's director.
The French Night UniFrance brought together some 400 professionals around major figures of French and international cinema: Isabelle Huppert, Agnès Varda, François Ozon, Olivier Assayas, Paul Verhoeven, Tahar Rahim, Nathalie Baye, Julie Gayet, Julia Ducournau, Katell Quillévéré, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Thierry Frémaux, to mention just a few.
Over four evenings, the Lounge UniFrance organized at Le Hotel Germain Toronto, with support from CHANEL, allowed professionals and journalists to get together from 6 pm to 8 pm, and to also celebrate, during a special event, the collaboration of UniFrance with Télefilm Canada. The place to be!
Lastly, within the market held at the Hyatt Hotel, UniFrance put into place a new, more spacious and convivial stand in order to allow sales agents to receive distributors in top conditions.
French cinema at TIFF 2016: the film market
No particular film stood out at the film market: the market is complex, and in a context of more than 300 films presented, it can be difficult for any one title to have a presence.
Being selected for one of the parallel sections at Venice is a genuine asset when it comes to a presence at Toronto, as the sales of the films Frantz and Heal the Living demonstrate (both were sold by Playtime (ex Films Distribution)).
Toronto asserts itself more than ever as a compromise between a festival dedicated to audiences and a market, but nevertheless, in terms of the number of deals accomplished, it remains behind the markets of Cannes and Berlin.
Latest update : 21 September 2016 à 18:14 CEST
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Jean des Forêts
Joyce A. Nashawati
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