***UPDATE*** Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the French Film Festival will be postponed to a later date.
The 17th French Film Festival will take place from March 18 – 30, 2020, featuring 18 French films, under the artistic direction of Caroline Boneh, General Director of Eden Films. Screenings will take place at the Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Herzliya and Sderot cinematheques, as well as Lev theatres in Tel Aviv, Daniel Herzliya, Even Yehuda, and Omer, and the theatres at the Savyon Cultural Center, Beit Johanan in Netanya, and Beit Hatothan in Zichron Yaakov. The full program is available on the French Film Festival website: https://en.festival-cinemafrancais.co.il/
Opening the festival will be Donne-moi des ailes (Spread Your Wings), directed by Nicolas Vanier, who adapted the screenplay from his eponymous novel. The events depicted were inspired by the true-life story of meteorologist Christian Moullec, who observed in 1995 that geese were struggling with their migration from Germany to Sweden. Tracking their path, he realized that a safer migration route would increase their chances of survival. He adapted a two-seater ultralight aircraft and flew alongside the geese to guide them on this new path. In the film, Christian (Jean-Paul Rouve) is a scientist who studies migrating geese. His teenage son, who is spending the summer with his father on a farm, is more interested in video games. The plight of the vulnerable species draws father and son together in a film that appeals to all ages. The film’s director, Nicolas Vanier, will be a guest of the festival.
Director, screenwriter, comedian and musician Nicola Bedos will present his film La Belle Époque. In this romantic comedy with a delightful premise, Daniel Auteuil stars as Victor, a man in his 60s whose marriage to Marianne (Fanny Ardant) has lost its luster. Antoine (Guillaume Canet), a friend of Victor’s son, has launched a unique company that stages historical re-enactments. Victor chooses to dive deep into his memories of love, and go back to the moment he first met Marianne. Screenings in the presence of the director will take place on March 23rd at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and March 25th at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. Following the festival, the film will be released in theatres by Nachshon Films and Red Cape Films.
Jézabel Marques will present her debut feature film Sol. Sol (Chantal Lauby), a tango singer, has been living in Buenos Aires for many years. But her impulsive nature and bright smile hide a wound that has never truly healed: the loss of her son, with whom she had cut all ties. When Sol finally comes back to Paris in the hope of meeting her 7-year-old grandson Jo and the daughter-in-law she never met, she decides to rent the flat next door and pretends to be the new neighbor. From now on, she will try anything to get to know her estranged grandson. Screenings in the presence of the director will take place on March 28th at the Netanya Cultural Center and the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, and on March 29th there will be a conversation with the director following the screening at the Jerusalem Cinematheque.
Director Keren Ben Rafael will present her film The End of Love. Yuval (Arieh Worthalter) has returned to Israel for two weeks because he has to renew his visa in order to live in France with Julie (Judith Chemla) and their infant son Lenny. The film employs a distinctive style, as the couple maintain their relationship throughout this separation via Skype conversations. The film will be screened in the presence of the director on March 27th at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque.
The 17th edition of the French Film Festival is under the Artistic Direction of Caroline Boneh, and produced by Eden Cinema with support of the French Institute in Israel, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality Department of Performances, and Unifrance Films. Production managers: Anna Mirsky and Yoad Earon.