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VENICE 2017 France

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Which French films are in the running for the Golden Lion?

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- Xavier Legrand is a potential surprise entry, with both Benoît Jacquot and Xavier Beauvois well-placed, while Finkiel and Guédiguian lie in ambush along with the mysterious Kechiche

Which French films are in the running for the Golden Lion?
Custody by Xavier Legrand

We’re now less than a month away from the announcement, on 27 July, of the official selection of the 74th Venice Film Festival (which will be held from 30 August until 9 September 2017), and as the artistic director of the Italian festival, Alberto Barbera, travels around to finalise his choices, rumours are rife in Paris as to which French films will be given a place in the competition on the Lido. And according to various sources, it is a debut feature that could surprise us all by being included in the race for the Golden Lion 2017: Custody [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Xavier Legrand
film profile
]
by Xavier Legrand.

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Also well-placed is Eva by Benoît Jacquot, starring Isabelle Huppert and Gaspard Ulliel (see article), which would allow the director to return to the Venetian competition for the fifth time (after Seventh Heaven in 1997, No Scandal in 1999, The Untouchable [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
in 2006, and Three hearts [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Benoît Jacquot
film profile
]
in 2014).

Also in the running is The Guardians [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile
]
by Xavier Beauvois (see article), who also has a history at Venice (having participated in the competition in 2000 with To Matthieu, in 2014 with The Price of Fame [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Xavier Beauvois
film profile
]
, and at Venice Days in 2005 with The Young Lieutenant [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
). 

Right at the top of the list of outsiders are Memoir of Pain by Emmanuel Finkiel and The House by the Sea by Robert Guédiguian (article). But the most unlikely contender comes in the form of Abdellatif Kechiche (who won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2013), who will have shown the Venetian selection committee Les dés sont jetés (see article), the first instalment in his diptych, which comes as a surprise as his partners only expected one film, after the first generated a number of disputes and had its funding cut, with these quarrels still lingering on even now. So there’s a big question mark hanging over whether the filmmaker will be returning to Venice, where he won the award for Best First Work in 2000 with Poetical Refugee before participating twice in the competition: in 2007 with The Secret of the Grain [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hafsia Herzi
film profile
]
(which won the jury special prize) and in 2010 with Black Venus [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Abdellatif Kechiche
film profile
]

That is of course without forgetting some very promising French productions by international filmmakers, like Une saison en France [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
film profile
]
by Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (see article) and the highly-anticipated English-language film Kings [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Turkish director Deniz Gamze Ergüven (see news article).

(Translated from French)

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