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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France

Anne Fontaine puts the finishing touches to Présidents

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- Now in post-production, this Ciné@ film distributed by Universal sees Jean Dujardin and Grégory Gadebois step into lead roles as Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande

Anne Fontaine puts the finishing touches to Présidents
Jean Dujardin and Grégory Gadebois on the set of Présidents (© Jean Dujardin’s Instagram account)

The only former presidents of the French Republic who are still alive today, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande will find themselves re-incarnated on the big screen in Présidents, Anne Fontaine’s 18th feature film, on which filming wrapped towards the end of November.

Jean Dujardin (the winner of the 2012 Best Actor Oscar and Cannes’ 2011 equivalent for The Artist [+see also:
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]
, nominated for the Best Actor César in 2007, 2012 and 2020, most recently for An Officer and a Spy [+see also:
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]
; well received of late in Deerskin [+see also:
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and I Feel Good [+see also:
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, and hitting screens in 2021 in OSS 117: Alerte Rouge en Afrique Noire) is stepping into the shoes of Nicolas Sarkozy, while Grégory Gadebois (nominated for the 2014 Best Actor César via One of a Kind [+see also:
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]
, as well as the 2020 Best Supporting Role César for An Officer and a Spy and the 2012 Best New Hope César for Angel & Tony [+see also:
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]
; recently at his best in Night Shift [+see also:
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interview: Anne Fontaine
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]
) is slipping into those of François Hollande.

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Joining them in the cast are Doria Tillier (nominated for the 2018 and 2020 Best Actress Césars for Mr and Mrs Adelman [+see also:
trailer
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]
and La Belle Époque [+see also:
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interview: Nicolas Bedos
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]
) and Pascale Arbillot (recently seen in Appearances [+see also:
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]
and Miss [+see also:
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, touring cinemas as of 27 January in Haute couture).

Written by the director, the story sees Nicolas, a former president of the French Republic, struggling with the cessation of his political career. He believes he can make a comeback but decides to find an ally. He heads off to see François, who is enjoying retirement in the rural region of Corrèze. He tries to convince his counterpart to team up with him so as to reclaim their place in the limelight. François is on board, but Nicolas realises happiness isn’t always found where you expect it …

Discovered in Cannes’ Critics’ Week in 1993 via Les histoires d'amour finissent mal... en général, Anne Fontaine has been selected on la Croisette on two previous occasions (Augustin, in the Un Certain Regard section in 1995, and Oh La La! [+see also:
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]
which screened out of competition in 2006). She has also competed in Venice (Dry Cleaning, which scooped the screenplay award in 1997), Locarno (How I Killed My Father [+see also:
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]
in 2001) and San Sebastian (In His Hands [+see also:
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]
in 2005). Her other works include Coco Before Chanel [+see also:
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]
(2009), Adore [+see also:
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]
(2013), Gemma Bovery [+see also:
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]
(2014), Agnus Dei [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Lou de Laâge
film profile
]
(Sundance 2016), Reinventing Marvin [+see also:
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]
(gracing Venice’s Orizzonti line-up in 2017) and Night Shift (presented out of competition in the 2020 Berlinale).

Produced by Philippe Carcassonne on behalf of Ciné@, Présidents was shot over a seven-week period in Corrèze and Paris, with Yves Angelo (who won the César in his category in 1990, 1992 and 1994, and has been nominated on three other occasions) at the helm of photography. Universal has acquired all distribution rights for the film.

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