New York’s Rendez-Vous With French Cinema to Feature ‘The Animal Kingdom,’ Films by Michel Gondry, Ladj Ly (EXCLUSIVE)

Rexa Vella

New York’s Rendez-Vous With French Cinema to Feature ‘The Animal Kingdom,’ Films by Michel Gondry, Ladj Ly (EXCLUSIVE)

Unifrance and Film at Lincoln Center have unveiled the lineup for the 29th Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, a festival celebrating contemporary French film running from Feb. 29-March 10.

Thomas Cailley’s “The Animal Kingdom” will screen as the 2024 Opening Night Selection in its New York premiere. The film, which was nominated for 12 Cesar Awards, tells the story of an infection that mutates humans into animal hybrids.

“It is a great honor to open this year’s edition with the French critical and box-office hit ‘The Animal Kingdom’ with director Thomas Cailley in attendance,” said Daniela Elstner, executive director of Unifrance.

Elstner continued, “This remarkable film along with this year’s selection is a great example of the vitality and diversity of French cinema today. A mix of new and established filmmakers together with the stellar presence of actress Marion Cotillard indeed make for a rich 29th edition of this year’s Rendez-Vous With French Cinema. Their attendance along with the recognition at the Oscars just a couple of days ago highlights what French cinema represents for American audiences today: an alternative voice and a vision of human relationships and world issues. From a line-up of 21 feature films, more than half are directed by women and eight were made by first time filmmakers. We are pleased to welcome them all to New York during these ten days.”

In addition to “The Animal Kingdom,” this year’s slate of films Pascal Bonitzer’s “Auction,” Robin Campillo’s “Red Island,” Marie Amachoukeli’s “Àma Gloria,” Michel Gondry’s “The Book of Solutions,” Vanessa Filho’s “Consent” and Ladj Ly’s “Les Indésirables,” among several other titles across a myriad of genres.

Two documentaries that will screen are the Cesar-nominated “On the Adamant,” directed by Nicholas Philibert, and “Little Girl Blue,” directed by Mona Achache and starring Marion Cotillard. Achache’s film is a story that “blurs the line between truth and fiction to produce a work as fittingly unsettling and unforgettable as her subject — her own mother.” Both Achache and Cotillard will be present in person at the festival.

Among the other talent attending the festival in person are Marie Amachoukeli, Nathan Ambrosioni, Pascal Bonitzer, Robin Campillo, Jean-Pierre Daroussin, Delphine Deloget, Valérie Donzelli, Nora El Hourch, Vanessa Filho, Iris Kaltenbäck, Héléna Klotz, Erwan Le Duc, Thomas Lilti, Ladj Ly, Victoria Musiedlak, Anna Novion, Nicolas Philibert, Ramata-Toulaye Sy, and Maud Wyler.

Tickets for Rendez-Vous with French Cinema will go on sale on Feb. 1.

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