The Extraordinary (Opening Night)
The Extraordinary is based on the real-life figure of Stéphane Benhamou who runs an informal shelter in Paris for autistic youth who have fallen through the cracks of a system unable to care for them. As their dedicated carer, Bruno demonstrates his talent in an extraordinary, no-limits performance. Struggling for both staff and money, Bruno is the heart and soul of his uncertified shelter, which comes under threat when authorities start investigating it.
Victor, a 70-something tech-phobic cartoonist, is struggling both professionally and personally. His work is evaporating with the growing dominance of the Internet, and his wife, Marianne loathes him. Things take a turn when Victor meets Antoine whose company offers a unique theatrical service where customers are able to revisit memories and play out fantasies through carefully orchestrated re-enactments. Victor decides to relive the most memorable week of his existence, 40 years earlier, when he met the love of his life.
The Swallows Of Kabul is brought to life through two couples living in the Afghan capital during the nineties, and the impact Taliban rule has on each relationship. Through their individual love stories, unforgettable characters emerge amid the devastating impact of armed combat. On one side sits idealistic Mohsen and Zunaira who dream of a better future, and on the other is a disillusioned prison guard Atiq, and his seriously ill wife Mussarat.
Inspired by a true story, Spread Your Wings follows videogame-addicted teenager Thomas who is sent by his mother, Paola to spend the school holidays with his father in the beautiful, yet secluded, wetlands of the Camargue region in Southern France. With no Wi-Fi and only his ornithologist father Christian for company, Thomas is slowly drawn into his father’s passion for a gaggle of newborn, wild geese. Together, father and son train the birds for their first migratory flight, hoping to free them from captivity. By doing so, they also start to rebuild their own strained relationship.
We meet Edmond Rostand during the explosion of artistic production that marked the Belle Époque in late 19th-century France. Despite being a clearly gifted writer, his career has yet to take off, and his bruised ego makes it difficult for him to find further inspiration. But, with the support of the legendary Sarah Bernhardt, stage legend Constant Coquelin approaches Edmond and demands to star in his next play. Faced with the opportunity of a lifetime, all Edmond needs is to create the play itself. With only three weeks to write it and only the title-Cyrano de Bergerac-to work with, can he accomplish the impossible?
For more than 70 years, every song by crooner Charles Aznavour invited his legions of adoring fans into a magical dream of music and romance. Aside from the thousands of songs that made this French-Armenian polymath a star, Aznavour’s life beyond music was even more extraordinary. An actor, political activist, diplomat and filmmaker, Aznavour by Charles enthrallingly reveals a complicated, multi-talented man who entertained for the greater part of a century. In 1948, fellow French music idol Édith Piaf gave Aznavour a Paillard-Bolex film camera that he used religiously to document his life until 1982. Before passing away in October 2018 at the age of 94, Aznavour and his collaborator Marc di Domenico worked through an enormous film archive, the result of which forms the basis of Aznavour by Charles.
Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy wakes up in a parallel universe where he never met girl-Love At Second Sight is not your usual romantic comedy! All seems perfect for Raphaël Ramisse and his wife Olivia who have been married for 10 years. High-school sweethearts and soulmates from the beginning, Raphaël flourishes as a successful author, largely due to Olivia’s unwavering support which sees her own ambitions put on hold to help him. Waking up in a parallel universe, however, Olivia is nowhere to be seen, and Raphaël’s professional achievements have vanished. Without Olivia, his life is empty but winning her back proves harder than he ever could have imagined when he realises she doesn’t even know who he is.
A king promises his queen that he will only re-marry if he can find someone more beautiful than her. He narrows his list down to the princess, his daughter. Disturbed by the thought of an incestuous marriage, the princess escapes to a nearby kingdom where even her fairy godmother is unable to help her. Under a new identity, the princess adopts the humble life of a pauper. But, when she crosses paths with a handsome prince, will the impossible happen and true love conquer all?.
A cop from the provinces moves to Paris to join the Anti-Crime Brigade of Montfermeil, discovering an underworld where the tensions between the different groups mark the rhythm. The film recalls the 2005 riots, which began in Clichy-sous-Bois and spread throughout Paris before reaching Marseille, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille. Les Misérables follows cop Stéphane through his first week on the job as part of a special unit who navigate society’s fringes. It’s a trial by fire as he and his corrupt, often violent, colleagues Chris and Gwada, face off against the region’s clashing factions of angry teens as tensions boil over.
☆☆☆☆☆ Cine Vue
☆☆☆☆☆ Slant Magazine
Two stories are knotted together across two countries in two different time periods, beginning with a character based on the real-life figure of Clairvius Narcisse. In the early ‘60s, he is zombified through a voudou ritual, which obliterates his identity and makes him easily exploitable as slave labour in the sugarcane fields. Leaping ahead to the present day, we meet Mélissa, a Haitian student at an expensive French boarding school whose cultural background becomes a source of fascination to her friends, especially Fanny who exploits Mélissa’s heritage with shocking results.
☆☆☆☆☆ Cine Vue
☆☆☆☆☆ Slant Magazine
A rare peek into the mind of a genius, chronicling the life and design of Cardin. Exclusive access to his archives and his empire, and unprecedented interviews at the sunset of a glorious career.
The Bare Necessity (Closing Night)
Nestled into a comfortable routine in their small Vosges village, the Perdrix family are held together by their matriarch Thérèse. She hosts a radio show where she offers to solve her listeners’ personal problems, unaware that her callers are her supportive sons calling incognito-the single father Juju and the town’s police captain Pierre. When a woman called Juliette has her orange BMW stolen, Pierre is forced into action. With no real intention of finding the vehicle, Pierre becomes enamoured by Juliette and joins her on a poetic odyssey about town.