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FESTIVALS / AWARDS France

The best of the 7th art goes to La Rochelle

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- From 30 June to 9 July, the Fema will present more than 200 films, including 40 recent highlights, as well as homages to Kaouther Ben Hania and Lars von Trier

The best of the 7th art goes to La Rochelle
Anatomy of a Fall by Justine Triet

After its successful launch in Cannes, Thomas Cailley’s gripping film The Animal Kingdom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Thomas Cailley
film profile
]
will tomorrow open the 51st La Rochelle International Film Festival (Fema) (from 30 June to 9 July), an event beloved for the quality and variety of its programme, its popular success and its strictly non-competitive identity.  

Standing out among the festival’s homages to filmmakers are Danish director Lars von Trier (with a full retrospective of his work), Kazakh filmmaker Adilkhan Yerzhanov (seven feature films), French actor Pierre Richard (eight films) and a programme around female Tunisian filmmakers, spearheaded by Kaouther Ben Hania (five films, including Cannes Competition title Four Daughters [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kaouther Ben Hania
film profile
]
). Shining among the retrospectives are mythical American actress Bette Davis (nine films) and caustic French stage actor and director Sacha Guitry (13 films).

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Among the 40 films in the "Ici et ailleurs" section, composed of very recent favourites of the festival directed by Sophie Mirouze and presided by Sylvie Pialat, is a series of 22 high quality films unveiled in May at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d’Or winner Anatomy of a Fall [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Justine Triet
film profile
]
by Justine Triet, Competition titles La Chimera [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher, Kidnapped [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by her compatriot Marco Bellocchio, About Dry Grasses [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
film profile
]
from Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Fallen Leaves [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki, Perfect Days [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Germany’s Wim Wenders and Club Zero [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
by Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner, Critics’ Week winner It's Raining in the House [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Paloma Sermon-Daï
film profile
]
by Belgian director Paloma Sermon-Daï, The (Ex)perience of Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ann Sirot & Raphael Balboni
film profile
]
by her compatriots Ann Sirot and Raphaël Balboni (which will close the festival), Close Your Eyes [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
from Spanish veteran Victor Erice, as well as The Buriti Flower [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: João Salaviza and Renée Nad…
film profile
]
by Portugal’s João Salaviza and Brazil’s Renée Nader Messora (Ensemble Prize winner in Un Certain Regard). Also in the programme are Berlinale winners 20,000 Species of Bees [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Estíbaliz Urresola
film profile
]
by Spanish director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren and Afire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Christian Petzold
film profile
]
by German filmmaker Christian Petzold, The Teachers' Lounge [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: İlker Çatak
interview: Leonie Benesch
film profile
]
by lker Çatak (named best German film of the year) as well as Slow [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marija Kavtaradze
film profile
]
by Lithuanian filmmaker Marija Kavtaradze (winner of the Best Director award at Sundance).

Also worth pointing out is a rish selection of 19 documentaries, which includes among others the world premiere of La Rivière by Dominique Marchais, but also Facing Darkness [+see also:
film review
interview: Jean-Gabriel Périot
film profile
]
by Jean-Gabriel Périot, Cannes selected titles Little Girl Blue [+see also:
film review
interview: Mona Achache
film profile
]
by Mona Achache, On the Edge [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
de Nicolas Peduzzi and In the Rearview [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Maciek Hamela (winner in Sheffield recently), Our Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Claire Simon and the diptych ​​Scenes from the Labudović Reel: Ciné-Guerrillas [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Non-Aligned [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mila Turajlic
film profile
]
, by Serbian director Mila Turajlić.

The very dense menu at Fema also includes a day dedicated (with five films) to Nicole Kidman, a zoom on Czech animation filmmaker Michaela Pavlátová (My Sunny Maad [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Michaela Pavlátová
film profile
]
), a Music Lesson with composer Florencia di Concilio, her colleague Clément Ducol and filmmakers Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach, an Editing Lesson with director Emmanuelle Bercot and her editor Julien Leloup, a section on silent cinema (featuring, among others, seven films starring the Danish actress Asta Nielsen), 17 classics or rare films restored or re-edited in the "D’hier à aujourd’hui" section, the "FEMA for kids" section with, among other things, Chicken for Linda! [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach as well as The Inventor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Jim Capobianco and Pierre-Luc Granjon, and a short film programme. Enough to seduce and satisfy the tastes of all audiences. 

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(Translated from French)

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