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FESTIVALS France

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Belfort holds steady with independent and innovative film

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- The 31st edition of the Entrevues Belfort Film Festival is being held from 26 November to 4 December, with an engaging programme including 12 features in competition

Belfort holds steady with independent and innovative film
De sas en sas by Rachida Brakni

Based on a strict editorial line focusing on young independent and innovative film, the 31st edition of the Entrevues Belfort Film Festival kicked off last Saturday, and will go on until 4 December. This year the Festival will most notably include a competition featuring 12 feature films (first, second and third works), five of which are European productions. Among them is Connecting Zones [+see also:
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by Rachida Brakni. Starring Zita Hanrot (who won the 2016 César for Most Promising Actress for Fatima [+see also:
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interview: Philippe Faucon
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]
), Fabienne Babe and Meriem Serbah, among others, the actress’ directorial debut was produced by Capricci Films (with support in the form of an advance on receipts from the CNC, most notably), which will release the film in France on 22 February.

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Also in the running are The Park [+see also:
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by Damien Manivel (unveiled in the alternative section at Cannes and recently acclaimed at Seville – to be released in France on 4 January by Shellac) and three documentaries: French-Greek film Athènes Rhapsodie by Antoine Danis, French-Cambodian piece Quinzaine claire by Adrien Genoudet, and Austrian film Brothers of the Night [+see also:
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by Patric Chiha. The competition is completed by titles from Argentina, the United States, Malaysia, Bolovia, and China. 

The festival is also hosting a competitive section for debut French fictional works, featuring Four Days in France [+see also:
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by Jérôme Reybaud (discovered in Critics’ Week at Venice – to be released in France on 15 March by KMBO), Summer Lights [+see also:
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by Jean-Gabriel Périot (screened in the New Directors section at San Sebastián), La Papesse Jeanne [+see also:
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by Jean Breschand (with Agathe Bonitzer in the lead role), and Heaven Sent [+see also:
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by Wissam Charaf (which has its premiere in the ACID section at Cannes).

Among the premieres being hosted by the festival are Paris Prestige [+see also:
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by Hamé and Ekoué (which has just bagged the FIPRESCI prize at Turin and will be released on 8 February by Haut et Court), French-Spanish co-production Sleeping Beauty [+see also:
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interview: Ado Arrietta
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]
by Ado Arrietta (acclaimed at Seville – to be released in France on 18 January by Capricci Films), and documentaries The Graduation [+see also:
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by Claire Simon (discovered at Venice – to be released in France on 8 February by Sophie Dullac Distribution) and Mrs. B., A North-Korean Woman [+see also:
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by Jero Yun (also unveiled in the ACID section at Cannes and awarded at Zurich).

Five feature films nearing the end of the image editing process will be presented to professionals as part of the Films en cours programme, with a post-production grant up for grabs. The films include French-Lithuanian co-production Walden by Bojena Horackova (produced by Sedna Films and Tremora). The third feature by the Czech director, who lives in France and whose previous work includes A l'Est de moi, centres around the character of Jana, who returns to Vilnius after 25 years of exile in Paris and tries to find the lake that Paulius, her first love, called "Walden". A film that takes the form of a elegiac chronicle about Lithuanian youth before the fall of the communist bloc, between the first signs of commotion, the black market and dreams of freedom embodied by the West. Also worth mentioning among the other films in the running are two documentaries: Before Summer Ends [+see also:
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interview: Maryam Goormaghtigh
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]
by Maryam Goormaghtigh and La liberté by Guillaume Massart

This year, the Entrevues Belfort Festival will pay tribute to French actor Melvil Poupaud, and is also hosting a section on "New French slapstick" (with pieces by Quentin Dupieux and Emmanuel Mouret, and featuring Apnée [+see also:
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by Jean-Christophe Meurisse and Struggle for Life [+see also:
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by Antonin Peretjatko), an exploration of remakes, a retrospective on Satyajit Ray, and a Film and History programme entitled "This is my body", which touches on the emancipation of the female body in the 1960s and 70s, from Iran to Cuba via France and the United States.

(Translated from French)

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