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CANNES 2015 Competition/France

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Four French directors in search of the Palme d’Or

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- Jacques Audiard and Maïwenn are back in the Cannes competition, where they have already won awards, while Valérie Donzelli and Stéphane Brizé will be making their debuts

Four French directors in search of the Palme d’Or
Dheepan by Jacques Audiard

While Thierry Frémaux conceded that selecting the French contenders for the Palme d'Or 2015 at the 68th Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May 2015) had been heartbreaking for him, owing to the plentiful supply and seven films that were worthy of being included in the competition, four filmmakers have managed to fight their way through to the finest showcase of world cinema. 

With Dheepan [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
, Jacques Audiard (soon to be 63 years old) will be in competition for the fourth time, following his participation in 1996 (A Self Made Hero – winner of the Best Screenplay Award), 2009 (A Prophet [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jacques Audiard
interview: Jacques Audiard and Tahar R…
film profile
]
– Jury Grand Prix) and 2012 (Rust & Bone [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Jacques Audiard
interview: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
). Among the cast of his seventh feature are Antonythasan Jesuthasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, Vincent Rottiers and Marc Zynga. Written by the director himself together with Noé Debré and Thomas Bidegain, the story revolves around Dheepan, a Tamil independence fighter in Sri Lanka who flees defeat and his country with a woman and a little girl whom he doesn’t know, thus hoping to be granted political asylum in Europe more easily. After their arrival in Paris, this “family” gets by in a shelter until Dheepan gets a job as a caretaker in the suburbs. There, he hopes to build a new life and a genuine home, but the day-to-day violence of the council estate reopens old wounds from the war... Produced by Pascal Caucheteux for Why Not, the film benefited from a budget of €7.98 million, including co-productions by France 2 Cinéma and Page 114, pre-purchases by Canal+ and Ciné+, and backing from the Ile-de-France region. UGC will handle the release in French theatres on 19 August. Celluloid Dreams and Wild Bunch are working together to manage the international sales.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Maïwenn (39) is back in the Cannes competition with Mon roi [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
; she previously won the Special Jury Prize in 2011 with Poliss [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Maïwenn
film profile
]
. Starring Vincent Cassel, Emmanuelle Bercot, Louis Garrel, Isild Le Besco, Ludovic Berthillot and Romain Sandère, her fourth feature (which she co-wrote with Etienne Comar) sees Tony forced to learn to walk again in a rehabilitation centre following a serious knee injury. Her physical suffering is compounded by her memories of the long years spent trying to rid herself of the influence of a man, a charismatic swindler who is destroying her bit by bit and with whom she had a son... Produced by Alain Attal for Les Productions du Trésor for a budget of €9.87 million, Mon roi was co-produced by France 2 Cinéma and StudioCanal (which will bring the movie out in France on 21 October and which is selling it abroad), with pre-purchases by Canal+ and Ciné+, and backing from the Ile-de-France region.

With her fourth feature, Marguerite et Julien [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Valérie Donzelli (42) will be making her big debut in the race for the Palme d'Or. The director of The Queen of Hearts [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(revealed at Locarno in 2009), Declaration of War [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Cannes Critics’ Week in 2011, the French candidate for the Oscar for Best Foreign-language Film in 2012, six nominations for the César Awards in 2012) has adapted (together with Jérémie Elkaïm) a screenplay written by Jean Gruault in 1971 for François Truffaut. In the story, the son and daughter of the Lord of Tourlaville have been in love since childhood, but their tender affection for one another gradually turns into an all-consuming passion. Their affair completely outrages society, which then hunts them down... The cast includes Anaïs Demoustier, Jérémie Elkaïm, Aurélia Petit, Frédéric Pierrot, Bastien Bouillon Sami Frey, Catherine Mouchet and Géraldine Chaplin. Produced by Edouard Weil and Alice Girard for Rectangle Productions for a budget of €6.82 million, Marguerite et Julien was co-produced by France 2 Cinéma with backing from the Ile-de-France region, among others. The movie will be distributed in France on 30 September by Wild Bunch, which is also handling the international sales.

It is also Stéphane Brizé’s (48) first time taking part in the competition at Cannes; he will do so with La loi du marché [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Stéphane Brizé
film profile
]
, his sixth feature, following such titles as Hometown Blue (Directors’ Fortnight 1999), Not Here to Be Loved [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(in competition at San Sebastian in 2005), Mademoiselle Chambon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(winner of the César Award for Best Screenplay in 2010) and A Few Hours of Spring [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(popular at Locarno in 2012 – four nominations for the César Awards in 2013). Starring Vincent Lindon, Karine Petit de Mirbeck and Matthieu Schaller, the film (co-written with Olivier Gorce) revolves around a 51-year-old man who, after being unemployed for 20 months, begins a job as a security guard in a hypermarket and finds himself facing a moral dilemma when he is asked to keep tabs on his colleagues... Produced by Christophe Rossignon and Philipp Boëffard for Nord-Ouest Films for a budget of €2 million, La loi du marché was co-produced by Arte France Cinéma with support from Canal+, Ciné+ and the Ile-de-France region. Diaphana will handle the theatrical release on 20 May, while MK2 International is in charge of international sales.

(Translated from French)

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