French film sets out to conquer Rome

Article published on Oct. 22, 2008
Article published on Oct. 22, 2008
Kicking off today, the 3rd Rome International Film Festival will screen a wide selection of French films, with five majority French productions in official competition.

As predicted by Cineuropa (see news), François Dupeyron’s With a Little Help From Myself and Ilan Duran Cohen’s Le Plaisir de chanter (“The Pleasure of Singing”) will vie for the Golden Marcus Aurelius, alongside Josiane Balasko’s Client [trailer] (starring Nathalie Baye as a gigolo hunter), and Rithy Panh’s The Sea Wall (featuring Isabelle Huppert and Gaspard Ulliel).

Other contenders include Giacomo Battiato’s TV drama Resolution 819 (produced by Break Out Films for Canal + and co-produced by Italy and Poland), starring Benoît Magimel and Hippolyte Girardot. The title looks back at the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995 and the ensuing TPI investigation.

Two minority French co-productions will screen in competition at Rome: Guishat Omarova’s Basky (co-produced by France’s Les Petites Lumières with Kazakstan and Germany) and Siddik Barmak’s Opium War.

The official selection also includes a gala presentation of Agnès Jaoui’s Let It Rain. Screening out of competition are collective film Huit (“Eight”, produced by France’s LDM) and Saul Dibb’s minority French co-production The Duchess [trailer].

This wave of French film in the Italian capital also includes Lisa AzuelosLOL (produced by Pathé), which is screening in competition in the Alice in the City section and stars an impressive Sophie Marceau; and Philippe Muyl’s Magique! [trailer], starring Marie Gillain.

The Extra section will present Louise Michel by Gustave Kervern and Benoît Delépine, Mabrouk El Mechri’s JCVD [trailer], Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs and two films by Olivier Assayas (who will meet with audiences): Summer Hours [trailer] and the documentary Stockhausen.

Finally, numerous French companies will attend the Business Street film market (October 22-26). The co-production market New Cinema Network has selected two French feature film projects: Alante Kavaite’s Eruption (Les Films d'Antoine) and David Oelhoffen’s Avant le Feu (“Before the Fire”), which is based on a short story by Albert Camus (Kaleo Films).

Fabien Lemercier