Line up

Chine / documentary / Chinese

in post-production

Prominent Chinese writers and scholars gather in a village in Shanxi, a province of China and the hometown of Jia Zhang-Ke. This starts an 18-chapter symphony about Chinese society since 1949. Narrated by three important novelists born in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s respectively, telling their own stories with literature and reality, the film weaves a 70-year spiritual history of the Chinese people.

Production: Xstream Pictures

France / documentary / English, French

in post-production

At the beginning of the 19th century the discovery of the wide-open spaces of the United States and its incredible wildlife was key in the political development of the country. Intent on painting all the birds of America, John-James Audubon became a central figure of America’s national identity. But as these birds started disappearing with the dawn of the  industrial era, so did the original American dream. In this “river movie” along the banks of the Mississippi, political, environmental and human rights issues are interwoven with the tales, myths and ghosts of these now extinct birds.

 

Production: Météores Films

French Distribution: Kmbo

France / documentary / English, French

in post-production

Today, the race is on between human and artificial intelligence. While researchers are slowly uncovering the mysteries of the human brain, dramatic progress is being made in the field of AI.
We follow the silent war raging inside cutting-edge laboratories embodied by two scientists: a father and his son. While the father, who pilots the International Brain Laboratory consortium in Geneva, dedicates his life to the understanding of the human brain, his son, a young AI researcher in Oxford, aims to build intelligent machines. Their captivating confrontations around the world challenge our beliefs in a disturbing yet fascinating existential journey.

 

Production: Bande à Part, Les Films Pelléas

Germany / documentary / English, French, German

in post-production

Women were clearly at the core of legendary photographer Helmut Newton’s work. The stars of his iconic portraits and fashion editorials – from Catherine Deneuve to Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling to Isabella Rossellini – finally give their own interpretation of the life and work of this controversial genius. A portrait by the portrayed. Provocative, unconventional, subversive, his depiction of women still sparks the question: were they subjects or objects?

France / documentary / French

in post-production

Gilles Caron was at the height of his career as a brilliant photojournalist when he went missing in Cambodia in 1970. He was just 30 years old. Through his iconic photographs, and the gaps between them, this film, constructed like an investigation, aims to restore the photographer’s presence, recount the story of his gaze, and how he managed to cover every high profile conflict of his day in such a short period of time.

In Marseille, a family gathers for the birth of baby Gloria. But despite the joy, they have fallen on hard times. However Gloria’s ambitious uncle has a new business idea, which could be a way out of their tough situation.

Director Robert Guédiguian reunites with the cast of THE HOUSE BY THE SEA (Venice 2017 Competition) and THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO (Cannes 2011 Un Certain Regard).

“A heartfelt, engaging, bittersweet family drama. A gently scathing take on the gig economy and the generational divide. Guédiguian moves to the calmer rhythms of classical naturalism. Working with the same troupe of excellent actors, the performances are all strong. The interplay between would-be rivals in fatherhood Darroussin and Meylan is perhaps the most touchingly drawn relationship. Ascaride, much more than her husband’s muse, finds lovely notes to play in Sylvie. It is unusual to see a woman of Ascaride’s age drawn with such consideration for her internal life. Guédiguian tells the story of his generation with compassion and insight.”

Variety – Jessica Kiang

“A downbeat but not despairing portrayal of a world in which moral values and personal ties have become brutishly devalued, although hope of redemption still prevails. All the key actors are characteristically on form and nail their characters with absolute precision. This is especially Meylan’s film, his bear-like loner emerging as a Dostoevskian redeemer and tower of strength. The unobtrusive, to-the-point photography helps foreground the essence of the characters while mapping the latest transformations of the city of Marseilles, Guédiguian’s ever-present backdrop over the years. A solid addition to his canon. Guédiguian is indeed France’s Ken Loach.”

Screen – Jonathan Romney

“Thanks to Guédiguian's narrative mastery, Gloria Mundi is never didactic. Guédiguian obviously has not lost his faith in the people themselves. He persistently pursues his fight for a better world - and we continue to enjoy watching it because his protagonists never degenerate into a means to an end, but radiate a warmth that should be worth so much more than all the money in the world.”

★★★★ Filmstarts – Christoph Petersen

France, Japon / drama / Japanese

Cast : Mariko Tsutsui , Mikako Ichikawa , Sousuke Ikematsu

completed

Ichiko works as a private nurse for a family she has almost become a part of. While Ichiko cares for the grandmother, she is also a confidant to Motoko, the eldest sister.
But one day, Motoko’s younger sister disappears. And the media soon reveal the kidnapper to be Ichiko’s own nephew…

After HARMONIUM (Cannes 2016 Un Certain Regard Jury Prize), Koji Fukada returns with the tense portrait of a woman caught up in a spiral of defamation.

“A slow-burn drama expertly told which fall into place with exquisitely deployed skills. Tsutsui’s wide-ranging performance anchors every scene in this tentacular and well-cast venture. Ichikawa is a stand-out as well. A deft and absorbing multi-pronged tale.”

Screen - Lisa Nesselson

“An exemplary melodrama, an emotionally palpable tale, expertly acted and with a dual-pronged narrative as equally well choreographed. With A Girl Missing, Fukada earns comparison to a contemporaneous Kenji Mizoguchi. In the lead role, Mariko Tsutsui is captivating.”

★★★★ IonCinema - Nicholas Bell

“Fukada steers clear of both internet trends and hankie-wringing melodrama. His concerns are the fragility of human bonds, the divided nature of the human heart and the eternal desire for revenge. In telling this story, Fukada takes the viewpoint of the distanced observer rather than the moralist or defender. That is, he allows the audience to draw its own conclusions.”

★★★★ The Japan Times - Mark Schilling

France / comedy. drama / French / 88’

Cast : Golshifteh Farahani

completed

Selma, a psychoanalyst, deals with a cast of colourful new patients after returning home to Tunisia to open a practice.

In this sophisticated comedy, Manele Labidi opens a fascinating window into modern Tunisia at a crossroads, with a story of contrasts, contradictions and culture clashes, full of vitality and humour.

“Via a colourful array of characters still getting their bearings post-Arab Spring, first-time writer-director Manele Labidi packs a lot of affectionate observations into compact running time. Golshifteh Farahani is radiant.”

Screen - Lisa Nesselson

“If Woody Allen were a French-Tunisian woman, he would have made something such as Arab Blues. Golshifteh Farahani has a magnetic and hugely watchable presence.”

The National - James Mottram

“Just like the classic Italian comedies, Arab Blues tells about the country. With a magnificent performance by Golshifteh Farahani.”

Elle Italia - Antonello Catacchio

“A sparkling, hilarious and original comedy, which sheds an absolutely new light on a country still struggling with cultural change. An incredibly alive, fun, intelligent and hopeful film, which never bores. Manele Labidi can be absolutely proud of her work.”

Cinematographe - Giulio Zoppello

France / drama / English, French / 93’

completed

Time of the Untamed is a mesmeric and fascinating round through the creative mind of Bartabas, based on the recording of 15 spectacular equestrian shows from the unique Zingaro Theater company over three decades.

completed

Sibyl, a jaded psychotherapist, returns to her first passion: writing. But her newest patient Margot, a troubled up-and-coming actress, proves to be a source of inspiration that is far too tempting. Fascinated almost to the point of obsession, Sibyl becomes more and more involved in Margot’s tumultuous life, reviving volatile memories that bring her face to face with her past.

Justine Triet (In Bed with Victoria, Cannes 2016 – Critics’ Week Opening Film) continues her unreserved exploration of the modern woman’s psyche with this intense and layered story.

France, Roumanie / Crime. Neo-noir / English, Romanian, Spanish / 97’

Cast : Vlad Ivanov , Catrinel Marlon

completed

Not everything is as it seems for Cristi, a police inspector in Bucharest who plays both sides of the law. Embarked by the  beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of treachery and deception. A secret whistling language spoken on the Spanish island of La Gomera might just be what they need to pull it off.

By the director of THE TREASURE (Cannes 2015 Un Certain Regard Screenplay Prize), POLICE, ADJECTIVE (Cannes 2009 Un Certain Regard Jury Prize) and 12:08 EAST OF BUCHAREST (Cannes 2006 Golden Camera).

“An oversized, deliciously twisted ride that runs on an endless supply of black humor and a sizeable body count. It’s a hoot. Nobody’s innocent, hardly anybody survives and the ride is stylish fun the whole bloody way.”

The Wrap - Steve Pond

“An enjoyable affair with just enough of a slant to feel a little offbeat. There’s a lot of fun to be had in the simple eccentricity of the premise, which is pulled back from silliness by the cast’s underplaying and Porumboiu’s natural inclination to tamp proceedings back into drollery. The director has long been established as the most skewedly humorous of the Romanian New Wave brigade, but that mischief-maker reputation does not mean his films have lacked substance. If anything, his style of disingenuously deadpan wit has given us some of the most lacerating commentary of the whole movement, cutting deeper because the critique is hidden under a smile — or more likely, a slow, owlish blink. Moments of transcendent grace occur, sometimes in the very last frames, and always in the least encouraging of environments: bureaucratic offices, police stations, living-room sofas, dismal playgrounds.”

Variety - Jessica Kiang

“Whimsical. Porumboiu’s cinema is about subtle, sly surprises that steal up on you while you think you’re watching something else. It revisits the energy and wit of heist movies before it, as well as the filmmaker’s own structural sophistication from his previous works, and revitalizes both traditions in the process. A polished mashup of genre motifs that suggests what might happen if the “Ocean’s 11” gang assembled on the Canary Islands. Poromboiu is a cerebral director whose narrative style always comes equipped with a prankish spirit, imbues this slick ensemble piece with a wry agenda.”

IndieWire - Eric Kohn

“This highly entertaining but dense tale of a cop double-crossing both his department and the gangsters with whom he's in cahoots constantly corkscrews around in every sense, deploying flashbacks frequently as it reveals twist after twist. Porumboiu's recurring preoccupation with language, loyalty and the legacy of Nicolae Ceaușescu's repressive regime is still there, just approached from another angle.”

The Hollywood Reporter - Leslie Felperin

France / historical drama / French / 119’

Cast : Adèle Haenel , Noémie Merlant , Valeria Golino

completed

Brittany, France, 1760. Marianne, a painter, is commissioned to do the wedding portrait of Héloïse, a young lady who has just left the convent. Héloïse is a reluctant bride to be and Marianne must paint her without her knowing. She observes her by day and secretly paints her at night. Intimacy and attraction grow between the two women as they share Héloïse’s first and last moments of freedom, all whilst Marianne paints the portrait that will end it all.

Céline Sciamma (WATER LILIES, Cannes 2007 Un Certain Regard; TOMBOY, Berlin 2011 Jury Prize; GIRLHOOD, Cannes 2014 Directors’ Fortnight Opening Film;
MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI, Cannes 2016 Directors’ Fortnight, Cesar Award for Best Screenplay) reunites with Award-winning actress Adèle Haenel for an intimate and deeply moving period drama.

“A Masterpiece. A devastatingly unforgettable story of love and memory. As perfect a film as any to have premiered this year. Razor-sharp and shatteringly romantic. A profoundly tender story about the process of self-discovery and becoming. Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a period romance that’s traditional in some ways, progressive in others, and altogether so damn true that it might feel more like staring into a mirror than it does running your eyes over a canvas. The film expresses that discovery as vividly as any that’s ever been made, as the drama’s spartan backdrop only adds to the intensity of its blaze. An unforgettable film that cooks at a low simmer until going incandescent in its closing minutes. It’s a magnificent love story about how our formative romances can shape us and sweep us forward, whether we have to move along because life presents us an opportunity or if we have to move on because life denies us a million more. It’s a film that captures the feeling you get from the last scene of “Roman Holiday” and stretches it over a full two hours in which not a single moment is wasted.”

IndieWire– David Ehrlich

“Made by a filmmaker who is herself, as we say in English nowadays, on fire. At this point, Sciamma is practically throwing off sparks and hot coals as she enters a confident, bigger-risk-taking phase of her career. Assaying her first period film, an exquisitely executed love story that's both formally adventurous and emotionally devastating, she sticks the landing like a UCLA gymnast in peak condition. It's so good you'll want to watch again in slow-motion immediately afterwards just to see how she does it. Sciamma is likely to get the lioness' share of praise for this wonderful film, but the contributions from the cast, especially Merlant and Haenel, are huge factors in its success. The two have combustible, practically fissile chemistry, felt not just in the love scenes but from the dramatic moment when they first see one another's faces at the end of a long bravura tracking shot. Not a moment in this film is wasted, which suits a story about lovers without a moment to lose. ”

The Hollywood Reporter - Leslie Felperin

“A vivid, full-blooded oil portrait of the stolen romantic relationship between two young women. This is a strikingly handsome production which will be admired on a technical level. Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel, colour coded smouldering red and forest green gowns respectively, have a persuasive onscreen connection which gives this affair a life of its own – one which will continue long after they part. Most powerful is an eerie vocal piece performed by women gathered for a night time fiesta – there’s a haunting, pagan quality to this keening close harmony chant, it breaks over the film like a wave. In its wake, everything is slightly different.”

Screen International – Wendy Ide

“A sweeping portrayal of a romance doomed to brevity. The film is right to be obsessed with the faces of its two leads. Merlant’s expressions have a rare immediacy, as she seems to digest sights and thoughts with alacrity, while Haenel reveals herself more carefully, never making her intentions or impressions known until she’s ready to. An ecstatic final shot.”

Slant – Christopher Gray

“To say the film lived up to the expectations is something of an understatement. A gorgeously filmed and deeply felt love story, with a lot to say about the role of the artist, the myth of the muse, and how women can only rely on each other in a patriarchal world. There are so many other things I could write about this movie – the moments of hilarious dry humor, the passionate love scenes, how it demonstrates both the constraints of patriarchy and the small ways of protest against it – but really, nothing I write could compare to the experience of seeing the movie itself.”

Awards Daily – Kevin Klawitter

“This absolute marvel of a movie is not to be missed. Imagine if Jane Austen had written a lesbian romance, and you have some idea of the elegant marvel Sciamma has created. Portrait of a Lady On Fire is visually staggering in its beauty. Every frame feels like a painting made of light. Like the film’s artistic heroine, cinematographer Claire Mathon captures these women in light and angles that make them glorious, yet never loses the life of them. The colors, the gesture, the line of a chin falling way to the neck, is all defined on-screen like a masterfully applied brushstroke.”

Pajiba - Kristy Puchko

“Portrait of a Lady on Fire is as smart as it as emotionally trenchant. Sciamma's precise compositions and evocative editing aren't just formal flexes but integral steps in developing her characters' bond from diametric opposites to furtive collaborators and finally partners.”

Film Freak Central - Angelo Muredda

Belgique, France, Senegal / drama / French, Wolof / 105’

Cast : Mama Sané , Amadou Mbow , Ibrahima Traoré

completed

Along the Atlantic coast, a soon-to-be-inaugurated futuristic tower looms over a suburb of Dakar. Ada, 17, is in love with Souleiman, a young construction worker.
But she has been promised to another man. One night, Souleiman and his co-workers leave the country by sea, in hope of a better future. Several days later, a fire ruins Ada’s wedding and a mysterious fever starts to spread. Little does Ada know that Souleiman has returned.

In her feature debut, Mati Diop continues to harness fantasy and social relevancy in this haunting tale of love.

“This shape-shifting Senegalese drama is pure cinematic poetry. Slipping in and out of modes with a magician’s confidence, Atlantics is mysterious and mythic, with a wizardly use of sound and some unforgettable images.”

★★★★★ The Telegraph - Tim Robey

“An intriguingly poetic movie with a seductive mystery, Atlantics is a voodoo-realist drama that has much to say about the contemporary developing world. It’s a winter’s tale of a film.”

★★★★ The Guardian – Peter Bradshaw

“A striking work, with a lyrical, richly evocative ghost story. Exquisitely shot by Claire Mathon and lushly scored by Fatima Al Qadiri, the film pulls together some exceedingly strong components.”

The Hollywood Reporter - Leslie Felperin

“Constantly intriguing, Atlantics is an intense romance notable for the craft of the filmmaking and Diop’s original approach to complex issues of love, loss and the forces for change that can rise from the ashes of tragedy.”

Screen International - Allan Hunter

“A gorgeous, mesmerizing feature directorial debut. Atlantics is an absorbing, otherworldly vision of an alienated seaside life in Dakar.”

IndieWire - Eric Kohn

“A romantic and melancholy film, part social commentary, part ghost tale, that works best in its evocation of loss and female solidarity.”

Variety - Jay Weissberg

“A harrowing migration narrative of female adolescence, Atlantics bears the aesthetic and thematic hallmarks of an expertly rendered film with an impressively nuanced subjectivity. Cinematographer Claire Mathon casts each image in its own washed-out light, all to the soundtrack of Fatima Al Qadiri’s evocative synth score, vibrating like something out of sci-fi.”

The Playlist – Caroline Tsai

“A haunting romance, political drama and surreal dreamscape all rolled into one. Dreamy yet sensual, fantastical yet rooted in uncomfortable facts, Diop’s beguiling film may even have reinvented a genre.”

★★★★ BBC Culture – Nicholas Barber

“Atlantics deftly entwines a new take on the refugee crises with a look at young female adulthood, and layers it with a dose of West African folklore. It feels in step with the films of Sofia Coppola, only stripped of the layers of privilege that are hallmarks of the latter’s work.”

The Wrap – Ben Croll

“Mesmerisingly strange. Sometimes of course, you’re also knocked out by a film precisely because it’s like nothing you’re used to from a particular cinema. Case in point: Mati Diop’s Atlantics, which isn’t quite like any African film we’ve seen.”

Twitter – Jonathan Romney

“A haunting and atmospheric tale of the supernatural, with a narrative based in a love story with a beautifully empowering coming of age aspect. A ravishing film to experience, glowing in attenuated light, and rife with eerie, magical moments. It presents an Africa that is a rare sight – wedded to the sea, and conflicted home to strong girls with dreams.”

RogerEbert.com – Barbara Scharres

France / documentary / English, French / 115’

completed

An unpredictable documentary from a fascinating storyteller, Agnès Varda’s new feature documentary sheds light on her experience as a director, bringing a personal insight to what she calls “cine-writing”.

The “Queen of French Cinema” Agnès Varda returns with a new documentary following her Academy Award nominated sensation FACES PLACES.

Honorary Academy Award Winner: 2017
Cesar Award Winner 2008, Best Documentary: THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS

“Two hours of magic.”

The Guardian

“A cinematic victory lap [which] will delight her recently expanded fanbase”

Variety

“A personal, playful account of a rich creative legacy (...) A heart-warming mood-lifter.”

The Hollywood Reporter

“Both an excellent primer for newcomers, and a wonderful parting gift for longtime fans (...) The perfect way for the legendary auteur to have the last word.”

IndieWire

“Agnès Varda tells her life story, and it’s a pretty picture. (…) Everyone’s favourite maverick nonagenarian guides us through a lively and engaging account of her inspirations, work practises and engagement with the audience.”

Screen Daily

“Varda by Agnès contains the best parts of Agnès Varda: work, wit and wisdom. (…)It is a cathartic, bittersweet swansong from one of cinema’s most endearing and adored auteurs.”

Cinevue

“To capture a lifetime of greatness in just two hours seems like an impossible task, but the French New Wave legend accomplishes this and more. (…) Varda’s eternally bright acceptance of modernity feels like a breath of fresh air, and makes for a viewing experience which is truly magical for any film fan.”

Much Ado About Cinema

Etats-Unis, France / drama / English / 94’

Cast : Fionn Whitehead , Leyna Bloom , McCaul Lombardi

completed

On the steps outside New York City’s dizzying central bus station, Port Authority, a girl named Wye vogues with her siblings. Paul, a young drifter, watches her, transfixed by her beauty.
After he seeks her out, an intense love soon blossoms. Wye introduces him to the ballroom community, an underground LGBTQ subculture, to her house, a self-selected chosen family.
But when Paul realizes Wye is trans, he is forced to confront his feelings for her and the social forces that seek to rupture their bond.

Executive-produced by MARTIN SCORSESE. A feature debut by up-and-coming visual artist and writer of MOBILE HOMES (Cannes 2017 Director’s Fortnight) Danielle Lessovitz.

“Endearing. Deeply Romantic. A gritty, naturalistic NYC love story that turns the white male perspective into the outsider and strikes a quietly progressive note. A striking chemistry between Bloom and Whitehead. A strong debut for Lessovitz.”

IndieWire – Eric Kohn

“A disarming gentleness. An affectingly intimate first feature and a tender depiction of the magnetic power of community. The mood is transfixing. Leyna Bloom has an authenticity that invests her performance with ease and authority, alongside a resplendent natural grace. Matched with Whitehead's raw emotional transparency beneath a veneer of toughness, their quiet scenes together are lovely.”

The Hollywood Reporter – David Rooney

“A likable, simple but effective romance in which two star-crossed lovers’ worlds collide. Propelled by a pair of terrific performances, Leyna Bloom is a beauty blessed with a Lena Horne-like magnetism and Fionn Whitehead is great. Lessovitz captures the spirit and energy of the vibrant ball world in a totally fresh way. Sensitive, appreciating rather than appropriating, it ultimately feels authentic to the community it depicts.”

Variety – Peter Debruge

“Mixing tough US social realism with butch femme poses is an intriguing exercise. There’s a sweetness in the central love story between ‘femme queen’ Wye, naturally played by transgender model turned actress Leyna Bloom, and Fionn Whitehead’s probation-dodging loner. This boy-meets-girl story should drive indie traffic beyond LGBT festivals and circuits.”

Screen International – Lee Marshall

“A coming-of-age story for the POSE era. It explores a key question put to its protagonist late in the film: ‘What are you looking for in a family?’ That search for family in all its forms is at the heart of PORT AUTHORITY. With Martin Scorsese on hand as an executive producer, Lessovitz has made a rough but vital film about the ways in which we strive to make the mean streets a little less mean.”

The Wrap – Steve Pond

“Under Lessovitz’s gaze, the kiki world is warmer and more humane than straight partying. Bloom is a magnetic star.”

Vulture– Nate Jones