October 17th 2019: The 2019 IFI French Film Festival, the event’s 20th anniversary edition, is here. 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. Tickets are now on sale from www.ifi.ie/frenchfest.
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-script writer 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 from www.ifi.ie/frenchfest. Multi-ticket packages are also available for 5 and 10 films, only from the IFI Box Office – terms and conditions apply.
For further information, interview availability, and high-res images, please contact Frances Wilde (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the IFI Press Office – (01) 6795744.
The IFI French Film Festival is supported by Airbus, Brooks Hotel, The Irish Times, RTÉ Supporting the Arts, Alliance Française Dublin, Europa Cinemas, Unifrance, Institut Français, and the Embassy of France in Ireland.
IFI is principally funded by the Arts Council.
Wednesday, November 13th
20.00 Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Thursday, November 14th
18.10 Someone, Somewhere + Q&A with Cédric Klapisch
20.45 La Belle Époque
Friday, November 15th
16.00 Farewell to the Night
18.15 Oh Mercy!
Saturday, November 16th
13.30 Claude Sautet: Danger Ahead
13.40 Burning Ghost
18.00 Arab Blues
20.30 Happy Birthday + Q&A with Vincent Macaigne
Sunday, November 17th
13.15 Who You Think I Am
13.30 Claude Sautet: The Things of Life
15.20 La Belle Époque
17.40 Pure as Snow + Q&A with Vincent Macaigne
20.20 Someone, Somewhere
Monday, November 18th
18.15 Farewell to the Night
20.30 Alice and the Mayor
Tuesday, November 19th
16.00 Joan of Arc
18.20 Happy Birthday
Wednesday, November 20th
16.30 Yves Saint Laurent: The Last Collections
20.15 Pure as Snow
Thursday, November 21st
16.10 Who You Think I Am
18.20 Oh, les filles! + Q&A with Bayon
Friday, November 22nd
16.10 Carwash and The Birth, The Life, The Death of Christ
20.30 Matthias and Maxime
Saturday, November 23rd
13.30 Claude Sautet: Vincent, François, Paul and the Others
16.00 The Girl with a Bracelet
18.10 Alice and the Mayor
20.20 Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Sunday, November 24th
11.00 IFI French Film Festival Family Screening: Ailo’s Journey
13.20 Claude Sautet: A Heart in Winter
14.00 Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché
20.00 On a Magical Night
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council