French films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018

French films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2018

28 French or majority French productions (18 features, including a series, and 10 shorts) will be presented at the 43th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), the biggest film festival in the American continent, whose upcoming edition runs from September 6 through 16. Further proof of the tremendous and unique presence of French cinema on the international scene.

With 28 French films or majority French coproductions (17 features and a series, and 10 short films) in the different sections, TIFF pays tribute to the diversity of talents and the vibrancy of French cinema. Although some directors in the lineup can be considered regulars (Olivier Assayas, Jacques Audiard, Mia Hansen-Løve, Louis Garrel, and Gaspar Noé), others, such as Tom Volf, and the duo Caroline Poggi/Jonathan Vinel, are making their debut.

Fifty French artists will be present at this edition of the Toronto International Film Festival, among whom Olivier Assayas, Mia Hansen-Love, Eva Husson, Jacques Audiard and his actors Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly, Louis Garrel, Laetitia Casta, Lily-Rose Depp, Emmanuel Mouret, Golshifteh Farahani, Rithy Panh, Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel, and Sébastien Betbeder. They will also be joined by Thomas Cailley and Garance Marillier for the Ad Vitam series, and by Claire Denis (High Life), (Mélanie Laurent (Galveston), and Léa Seydoux (Kursk) for the non-French or minority French productions.

More than ever, women are central to the game

The presence of a large number of French women filmmakers in the selections is a reminder about the specificity of the French film industry, a pioneer in an international domain where men are still essentially dominant.
This fight for freedom and the rights of women is now more crucial than ever, and it is probably no coincidence that women have a strong presence in the French titles in TIFF this year, both behind and in front of the camera. Whether it is do with the physical commitment of the Girls Of The Sun by Eva Husson, or an existential journey in India for the heroine of Maya by Mia Hansen-Løve, women are central to the French cinema of the 2018 edition. They play an important part in the history of the country (Mademoiselle de Joncquières by Emmanuel Mouret), and could well control the future (Jessica Forever by Caroline Poggi & Jonathan Vinel). In Sibel by Çagla Zencirci & Guillaume Giovanetti, a young mute woman, in the Turkish mountains, tries to make herself heard. When it comes to Tom Volf, in Maria by Callas he brings to life a myth that relates as much to freedom and femininity as to artistic talent. Last, but not least, to pay homage to Claire Denis, a tutelary figure of French arthouse cinema, as well as the selection of her latest film, TIFF has invited her to give a master class and is featuring Chocolat in its TIFF Cinematheque section.

French animation drawn large

It is no accident that an animated film, the highly awaited Minuscule - Mandibles from Far Away, features in the Contemporary World Cinema, because French animation represents one of the great strengths of the country's national cinema. In 2014, the first episode, also made by Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo, generated $13 million at the international box office (outside France). We would also like to note that four of the seven French shorts in the official international selection (Short Cuts) are animated films.

A committed and international French lineup

French cinema's strength resides in its ability to open up to other cultures and throw a spotlight on them. Many films linked to France in terms of production reflect this diversity, whether it is do with the life of Thai villagers affected by the sudden arrival of refugees (Manta Ray by Phuttiphong Aroonpheng), or focuses on the traumatism caused by political and racial conflicts in China (Dead Souls by Wang Bing) and Cambodia (Graves Without a Name by Rithy Panh).
In a totally different tone, with The Sisters Brothers, Jacques Audiard revisits the Western genre with a manhunt in the Rocky Mountains.

UniFrance at TIFF / Market

With the French Lounges, operating on September 7 and 9, UniFrance organizes events dedicted to French artists, producers, and sales agents, which encourage networking with foreign media, festival selectors, and distributors present at the festival.

And, in keeping with tradition, UniFrance makes a space available to its members within the Film Market at the Hyatt Hotel. 20 French exporters will be present at the UniFrance stand this year. On Saturday September 8, UniFrance will host its traditional French Night, a gala bringing together the French film teams selected in the festival, along with producers, exporters, journalists, distributors, and international professionals.

  • The UniFrance "French Films in Toronto" brochure may be downloaded below.

French Cinema at TIFF 2018, section by section




Special Presentations




TIFF Cinematheque

Contemporary World Cinema

Short Films - Short Cuts


Short Films - Wavelengths

Midnight Madness

The presence of French cinema at the Toronto International Film Festival receives valuable support from Lacoste, BNP Paribas, l'Alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, Air France, and Laurent-Perrier.

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