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LES ARCS 2021

Les Arcs Film Festival to showcase the best of European cinema

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- The festival has unveiled the tantalising line-up of its 13th edition, which will unspool 11 – 18 December with Michel Hazanavicius at the head of the jury

Les Arcs Film Festival to showcase the best of European cinema
Il buco by Michelangelo Frammartino

After a 2020 edition which reinvented itself online as a hybrid event, on account of the pandemic, the Les Arcs Film Festival is returning to the Savoyard mountains with a 13th edition set to unfurl between 11 and 18 December, whose highly appealing programme has just been revealed.

Standing tall among the festival’s guests of honour, we find French filmmaker Laurent Cantet (Arthur Rambo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laurent Cantet
film profile
]
) and Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts, both of whom are scheduled to deliver masterclasses, much like director Audrey Diwan (Happening [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) within the context of the Femmes de Cinéma lab.

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The 10 feature films battling it out for the 2021 Crystal Arrow will be evaluated by a jury led by Michel Hazanavicius and further composed of Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen, her French counterpart Laetitia Dosch, writer Tania de Montaigne, musician Camille, and actor and director Éric Judor.

The competition assembled by artistic director Frédéric Boyer includes five feature films discovered in Venice: Il buco [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michelangelo Frammartino
film profile
]
by Italy’s Michelangelo Frammartino (awarded the Special Jury Prize in Venice), the competitor Captain Volkonogov Escaped [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by the Russian duo composed of Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, Full Time [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eric Gravel
film profile
]
by France’s Éric Gravel (Orizzonti prizes for Best Direction and Best Actress), 107 Mothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Peter Kerekes
film profile
]
by Slovakia’s Peter Kerekes (Orizzonti Prize for Best Screenplay) and True Things [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Harry Wootliff
film profile
]
by British director Harry Wootlif. Jostling alongside them are two titles from Cannes, namely Caméra d’Or-winner Murina [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović
film profile
]
by Croatia’s Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović and A Chiara [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Carpignano
film profile
]
by Italy’s Jonas Capignano (awarded the Europa Cinemas Label at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight), in addition to The Fam [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Fred Baillif
film profile
]
by Swiss filmmaker Fred Baillif (who won the Generation 14Plus Grand Prize in Berlin), Hive [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Blerta Basholli
film profile
]
by Kosovo’s Blerta Basholli (which triumphed at Sundance) and Brighton 4th [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Levan Koguashvili
film profile
]
by Georgia’s Levan Koguashvili (which won three awards in Tribeca).

Stealing focus in the Playtime section are two films discovered in Cannes, in the form of Ali & Ava [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by English director Clio Barnard and Lamb [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valdimar Jóhannsson
film profile
]
by Iceland’s Valdimar Jóhannsson (which won the award for originality within the Un Certain Regard section), two screened in Venice (competitor Leave No Traces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan P Matuszyński
film profile
]
by Poland’s Jan P. Matuszynski and Rhino [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov) and two seen in Berlin, in the form of Ninjababy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Yngvild Sve Flikke
film profile
]
by Norway’s Yngvild Sve Flikke (which earned a Special Mention within the Generation 14plus line-up) and Persian Lessons [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Russian-American filmmaker Vadim Perelman. Likewise set for the showcase are Nobody Has To Know [+see also:
film review
interview: Bouli Lanners
film profile
]
by Belgium’s Bouli Lanners (unveiled in Toronto), the animated documentary Flee [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jonas Poher Rasmussen
film profile
]
by Denmark’s Jonas Poher Rasmussen (which triumphed in Annecy and at Sundance), Wild Men [+see also:
film review
interview: Thomas Daneskov
film profile
]
by his compatriot Thomas Daneskov (previously in competition in Tribeca) and the documentary For A Fistful of Fries [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Belgian duo Jean Libon and Yves Hinant.

The Hauteurs section is scheduled to offer up Brotherhood [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Francesco Montagner
film profile
]
by Italy’s Francesco Montagner (which scooped the Golden Leopard within Locarno’s Cineasti del Presente section), Cannes titles Clara Sola [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nathalie Álvarez Mesén
film profile
]
by Swedish-Costa Rican director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén and Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
by Austria’s Sebastian Meise (awarded the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize), Venetian competitor Reflection [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valentyn Vasyanovych
film profile
]
by Ukrainian filmmaker Valentyn Vasyanovych, the documentary Dark Rider by Belgium’s Eva Küpper and the Irish-Polish production Wolf by Italy’s Nathalie Biancheri (coming to us via Toronto).

Eye-catching French premières, meanwhile, include À l’ombre des filles by Étienne Comar, Presque by Bernard Campan and Alexandre Jollien, Zaï Zaï Zaï Zaï by François Desagnat and La vraie famille by Fabien Gorgeart.

The festival line-up also features a Focus section, dedicated to Alpine cinema, screening, among other works, Atlas [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Niccolò Castelli
film profile
]
by Niccolò Castelli, and two feature films which took their first bow in Cannes: Small Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Samani
film profile
]
by Laura Samani and Patrick Imbert’s animated film The Summit of the Gods [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. A school programme is also set to grace the agenda, notably showcasing the Cannes title Playground [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Wandel
film profile
]
by Belgium’s Laura Wandel.

Last but not least, the short films jury will be presided over by director Rachel Lang (flanked by her sister-in-arms Zoé Wittock, actors Hugo Becker and Sandor Funtek, and actresses Christa Theret and Alma Jodorowsky), while the Industry Village event is set to welcome industry professionals from 11 to 14 December (hosting the Co-Production Village, the Work in Progress section and the Talent Village) before giving way, between 14 and 18 December, to the Les Arcs Summit (preceded online, between 10 and 25 November, by a dozen or so films for professional eyes only, including Le monde d’hier by France’s Diastème, the documentary L’Empire du silence by Belgium’s Thierry Michel and the animated feature Unicorn Wars by Spain’s Alberto Vázquez). And that’s without forgetting the Music Village, the Femmes de Cinéma lab, the ecological awareness Moving Mountains programme, conferences, workshops and the Off Piste Cinema initiative (initiated last year to allow French cinemas to organise screenings of films drawn from a selection of ten feature-length works offered up by the Les Arcs Film Festival).

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(Translated from French)

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