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Full programme announced for the 20th IFI French Film Festival
17 Oct 2019 : News Desk
IFI French Film Festival
The programme for the 2019 IFI French Film Festival, the event's 20th anniversary edition, has been announced.

Ireland’s largest French cultural event will run for twelve days at the IFI from Wednesday 13th to Sunday 24th November. With 28 features in total, the festival opens with Céline Sciamma's critically acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and closes with Christophe Honoré's award-winning On a Magical Night. Director Cédric Klapisch, known for such films as L'Auberge espagnol and Paris, will visit the festival to take part in a Q&A following the Irish premiere screening of Someone, Somewhere
The festival opens on Wednesday 13th with a Gala Screening of Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which won the Best Screenplay and Queer Palm awards at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Starring Noémie Merchant and Adèle Haenel, the film centres on the burgeoning love affair between an artist and the woman whose portrait she has been commissioned to paint.

A particularly strong representation of female filmmakers at the festival includes new films from Lucie Borteleau (Lullaby), Justine Triet (Sibyl), Manele Labidi Labbé (Arab Blues), and Anne Fontaine (Pure as Snow). The festival will also feature a special tribute to pioneering filmmaker Alice Guy-Blaché (1873-1968). Guy-Blaché's shorts will screen throughout the festival, while Pamela B. Green's Be Natural, a new documentary about Guy-Blaché narrated by Jodie Foster, will receive its Irish premiere on Sunday 24th.
Guests also scheduled to appear at the festival include actor Vincent Macaigne, most recently seen in Olivier Assayas's Non-fiction; Macaigne will take part in Q&As following screenings of Cédric Kahn's Happy Birthday and Pure As Snow on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th respectively. Journalist and writer Bayon, founder of The Music Section (1981), Arts Editor (2010-2014) at the French newspaper Libération, and co-scriptwriter of music documentary Oh, les filles! will visit the festival on Thursday 21st.

Other highlights of this year’s festival include Arnaud Desplechin's tough crime drama Oh Mercy!; Xavier Dolan's Matthias and Maxime, in which a relationship changes after a kiss; André Téchiné's Farewell to the Night which focuses on a family's battle with Islamic fundamentalism and stars Catherine Deneuve; Olivier Meyrou's long-awaited documentary Yves Saint Laurent: The Last Collections; Mikhaël Hers's touching family drama Amanda; and charming new fantasy La Belle Époque starring legends Daniel Auteuil and Fanny Ardant.

Speaking about this year's programme, Festival Director Marie-Pierre Richard commented, ‘Women are strongly represented in our programme, both as subjects, ranging from Joan of Arc, through 18th century France, to contemporary stories of urban homelessness; and as filmmakers, from the pioneering Alice Guy-Blaché who produced more than 1,000 films, to Justine Triet and Manele Labidi Labbé.'
Also screening throughout the event will be Louis-Julien Petit's Invisibles; Stéphane Batut's dreamlike Burning Ghost (Winner Prix Jean Vigo 2019, alongside the short film Carwash); Safy Nebbou's Who You Think I Am, starring Juliette Binoche; Nicolas Pariser's lively comedy Alice and the Mayor; Bruno Dumont's Joan of Arc; Blaise Harrison's atmospheric debut Particles; Stéphane Demoustier's courtroom drama The Girl with a Bracelet; and for younger film fans, our IFI Family screening this year is Ailo's Journey.

Finally, the festival's now annual retrospective strand features a focus on the work of Claude Sautet, whose carefully crafted dramas were huge successes both at home and abroad. The four films chosen as part of the focus are: Danger Ahead (Classe Tous Risques), which sees a gangster on the run journeying home to his family; The Things of Life, a masterfully crafted melodrama which sees an architect reflect back on his life; Vincent, François, Paul and the Others, the biggest public success of Sautet's career, filmed during the 1974 French presidential campaign, reflects an era of men's turmoil and female emancipation; and A Heart in Winter, Sautet's touching love triangle drama starring Emmanuelle Béart. The retrospective is supported by Institut Français Paris and the Embassy of France in Ireland.  

Tickets for the IFI French Film Festival are now on sale from the IFI Box Office on 01-6793477 and online. Individual screening tickets cost €11.50. Tickets to the opening night screening cost €15. Multi-ticket packages are also available for 5 and 10 films, priced at €50 and €90 respectively, only from the IFI Box Office – terms and conditions apply.

Click here for tickets to the 20th French Film Festival.

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