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The French films likely to battle it out for Venice’s Golden Lion


- Two weeks before Alberto Barbera reveals the festival’s official selection, we take a look at the French movies most likely making their way to the Lido

The French films likely to battle it out for Venice’s Golden Lion
Three Friends by Emmanuel Mouret

Two weeks ahead of the official selection’s unveiling on 23 July by Alberto Barbera, uncertainty still reigns over the identity of the French candidates set to world premiere in the 81st Venice Film Festival (running 28 August to 7 September). It has to be said that the artistic director of the Italian gathering has shown far more caution than in previous years when he sent out firm invitations in advance. These days he’s favouring a new "open invitation” concept (creating an official selection without revealing to the film teams the sections in which their works are screening until the public unveiling of the programme). But rumours are rife in the French film industry and patterns do tend to emerge.

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For the official competition, whose jury is presided over by Isabelle Huppert (read our news), the film in pole position is believed to be Emmanuel Mouret’s Three Friends (read our article – notably starring Camille Cottin, Sara Forestier, India Hair, Damien Bonnard, Grégoire Ludig and Vincent Macaigne). For the record, almost all of the filmmaker’s previous 11 feature films have been presented in the major festivals and their different showcases, ranging from Cannes (his latest movie, Diary of a Fleeting Affair [+see also:
film review
interview: Emmanuel Mouret
film profile
, screened in the Cannes Première section in 2022, with the director previously gracing the official selection in 2020 and the Directors’ Fortnight in 2004 and 2006) through to Venice (namely the Giornate degli Autori section in 2007), by way of Locarno (in competition 2013 and gracing the Piazza Grande in 2011) and Toronto (selected for the Platform line-up in 2018).

Other stand-out contenders likely to battle it out for the 2024 Golden Lion are And Their Children After Them by Ludovic and Zoran Boukherma (article - starring Paul Kircher, Angelina Woreth, Sayyid El Alami, Gilles Lellouche and Ludivine Sagnier), La vallée des fous by Xavier Beauvois (article – toplined by Jean-Paul Rouve) and The Quiet Son by Delphine and Muriel Coulin (article - starring Vincent Lindon, Benjamin Voisin and Stefan Crepon).

French feature films seeking selection in Venice’s other festival line-ups (out of competition, Orizzonti, Giornate degli autori, International Critics’ Week) include Planète B. by Aude Léa Rapin (article – starring Adèle Exarchopoulos, Souheila Yacoub, India Hair and Jonathan Couzinié), Little Jaffna by Lawrence Valin (article), Call of Water by Elise Otzenberger (article), My Everything by Anne-Sophie Bailly (article – toplined by Laure Calamy), Hello Madness by Judith Davis (article) and L'attachement by Carine Tardieu (article – starring Pio Marmaï, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Vimala Pons and Raphaël Quenard).

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(Translated from French)

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