Belgian francophone films shine at La Rochelle

Article published on July 3, 2008
community published
Article published on July 3, 2008
The 36th edition of the La Rochelle International Film Festival (June 27-July 7) is this year putting the spotlight on burgeoning Belgian francophone films in its Discoveries section, screening 22 titles.

Accompanied by their directors, films on the line-up include Joachim Lafosse’s Private Lessons ; Bouli Lanners’ Eldorado (see interview); Olivier SmoldersVoyage autour de ma chambre (“Journey Around My Bedroom”); and Rumba by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy.

The Tributes section gives pride of place to European filmmakers, including the UK’s Mike Leigh and his latest work Happy-Go-Lucky (which will be released in French theatres on August 27 by MK2, under the title Be Happy); iconoclastic German director Werner Herzog; documentary filmmaker Raymond Depardon; Lebanese-French director Danielle Arbid; and the Stévenin family (Jean-François, Sagamore, Robinson, Salomé and Pierre).

The programme of events (retrospectives, film shorts, videos, a homage to the Finnish Cinémathèque showing six Finnish titles and a special section on Quebec) includes the presentation of several European films in the Here and Elsewhere section as well.

The line-up also includes four films fresh from the recent Cannes Film Festival: the award-winning Gomorrah by Italian director Matteo Garrone (set to be released in France on August 13 by Le Pacte); the highly aesthetic Frontier of Dawn by France’s Philippe Garrel (to be released on October 8); the moving Versailles by fellow French director Pierre Schoeller (set to be released on August 13 by Les Films du Losange); and the fascinating Four Nights With Anna by Poland’s Jerzy Skolimowski (set to be released on November 5).

Further European titles include Correction by Greece’s Thanos Anastopoulos, Wolfsbergen by Dutch director Nanouk Leopold, I Am From Titov Veles by Macedonia’s Teona Mitveska and Autumn Ball by Estonia’s Veiko Ounpuu.

Fabien Lemercier