Highlights of French cinema at 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival [fr] [中文]

The 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival will be held from 18 March to 1 April this year. 31 French films are in selection and director Jacques Audiard will present his revisited western The Sisters Brothers. Closing the festival is the Berlinale Grand Jury Prize winner, By the Grace of God, from another acclaimed French filmmaker, François Ozon.


The 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival (HKIFF43) will open on 18th March with the world premiere of Bodies at Rest, Renny Harlin’s Chinese language crime thriller. Over 230 titles from 63 countries and regions, of which 64 are world, international and Asian premieres, will be presented during the 15-day festival.

Internationally-celebrated filmmakers will illuminate the festival with their insight and expertise in several masterclasses. Two-time Oscar-winning director Asghar FARHADI will meet HKIFF audiences for the first time after the screening of his latest drama – the compelling Cannes Film Festival opener, also a French coproduction, Everybody Knows. Korean master LEE Chang-dong will share his creative insights following the screenings of the newly-restored classic Peppermint Candy and his award-winning Burning which also won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes Film Festival.


French highlights
French cinema has been historically well represented at the festival. The Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau is a long-term partner of the Festival along with UniFrance, the organisation in charge of promoting French cinema throughout the world.

The strong capacity of French cinema to collaborate worldwide is illustrated by the subsequent total number of films presented every year at the festival. In 2019, 9 French films and 21 coproductions are selected. Renowned French film critic and journalist Michel Ciment will be member of the Jury.

“French Night”, co-presented on 19 March with the Consulate General of France and UniFrance, will feature a screening of The Sisters Brothers with the attendance of its director, Jacques AUDIARD, winner of Best Director at Venice. Distributed by Golden Scene, the film will be also released in Hong Kong theatres on 28 March 2019.

Closing the festival on 1 April is the Asian premiere of the Berlinale Grand Jury Prize winner, By the Grace of God (“Par la Grâce de Dieu), a quietly devastating real-life inspired drama from the acclaimed French filmmaker François Ozon.

On 22 March, Mr Roger Garcia, ex-Executive Director of the Hong Kong International Film Film Festival Society, will be bestowed upon the title of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (“Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres”) by the Consul General on behalf of the French Republic. Mr Garcia has been a key personality of the international film industry, a precious supporter of cinema, a French cinema lover as well as a great contributor to the outreach of French culture in Hong Kong.

“French Night” - The Sisters Brothers in the presence of director Jacques Audiard
France/Romania/USA/Spain / 2018/ 122min

Synopsis: Sent to kill a prospector who claims to make gold appear in the water during the 1850s Gold Rush, two notorious pistolero brothers encounter myriad complications in their picaresque adventure – witches, bears, spiders, and a prissy private detective. Worlds apart from his socially realistic Palme d’Or winner Dheepan (2015), Audiard’s revisionist Western creates an eccentric balance of fun and wit, yet maintains a sentimental heart of brotherly affection – set in a dangerous milieu of blood, greed, and endless squabbles.
Director Jacques Audiard, winner of Best Director at Venice, will meet the audience and take part in a Q&A on 19th March at 20:00. This “French Night” is co-presented by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau and UniFrance.

The film will be released by Golden Scene in Hong Kong theatres on March 28th.
19/03 at 20:00 at Exhibition and Convention Centre
24/03 at 21:45 at PREMIERE Elements PE
Tickets: https://www.hkiff.org.hk/film/getdetail?fid=448

Synonyms, by director Nadav Lapid - Berlinale’s Golden Bear for Best Film
France / Germany / Israel / 2019 / French, Hebrew / 123 minutes

Synopsis : Synonyms, after all, are words that mean the same thing. Or do they? Like Israel and home? Or Israel and alienation? Or Paris and hope? Or language and connection? The exciting Israeli director Nadav Lapid, who has triumphed with The Policeman (36th) and The Kindergarten Teacher (39th) mines his own memories of youthful adventures in Paris as we follow the hapless protagonist Yoav in his search for absolute translation and his own meaning in a new world. Winner of the Golden Bear for Best Film, Berlinale.

20/03 at 19 :30 at Exhibition and Convention Centre
23/03 at 19:45 at The Metroplex
Tickets: https://premier.hkticketing.com/shows/show.aspx?sh=43HKIFF

By the Grace of God (« Par la grâce de Dieu ») by director François Ozon - Grand Jury Prize, Berlinale
France / Belgium / 2019 / French / 137 minutes
Asian Premiere / Closing film

Synopsis: Other films have probed the child abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic Church from the standpoint of doubting adults and probing journalists. Ozon (Frantz, 41st) takes his complex vision of adult relationships into the bleak memories haunting three Frenchmen who come together to finally stop the priest who attacked them as children decades before. Based on the real case of Father Bernard Preynat, a film that finally grapples with the burden of silence on those who were damaged. Grand Jury Prize, Berlinale.

Mon 01/04 at 20 :00 at Cultural Centre
Tickets : https://ticket.urbtix.hk/internet/promotion/hkiff_bulk/654/performance/B

The extensive French line-up is listed down as follows:

French productions
A Faithful Man (Louis Garrel, France, 2018)
Mademoiselle de Joncquières (Emmanuel Mouret, France, 2018)
Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas, France, 2018)
Ulysse & Mona (Sébastien Betbeder, France, 2018)
Varda by Agnes (Agnès Varda, France, 2019)
An Impossible Love (Catherine Corsini, France, 2018)
Keep Going (Joachim Lafosse, France, 2018)
Sophia Antipolis (Virgil Vernier, France, 2018)
Edmond (Alex Michalik, 2018)

French co-productions
Birds of Passage (Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra, Colombia/Mexico/Denmark/France, 2018)
Graves Without a Name (Rithy Panh, France/Cambodia, 2018)
Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt, Portugal/France/Brazil, 2018)
Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa, Germany/Ukraine/France/Netherlands/Romania, 2018)
Everybody Knows (Asghar Farhadi, Spain/France/Italy, 2018)
The Gentle Indifference of the World (Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Kazakhstan/France, 2018)
High Life (Claire Denis, Germany/France/UK/Poland/USA, 2018)
The Image Book (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland/France, 2018)
A Land Imagined (Yeo Siew-Hua, Singapore/France/Netherlands, 2018)
Manta Ray (Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Thailand/France/China, 2018)
The Most Beautiful Couple (Sven Taddicken, Germany/France, 2018)
Our Time (Carlos Reygadas; Mexico/France/Germany/Denmark/Sweden, 2018)
The Sister Brothers (Jacques Audiard, USA/France/Romania/Spain, 2018)
Sunset (László Nemes, Hungary/France, 2018)
Tel Aviv on Fire (Sameh Zoabi, Luxembourg/France/Israel/Belgium, 2018)
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Roberto Minervini, Italy/USA/France, 2018)
Loro (Paolo Sorrentino, Italy/France, 2018)
Santiago, Italia (Nanni Moretti, Italy/France/Chile, 2018)
Dead Souls (Wang Bing, China/France, 2018)
Sofia (Meryem Benm’barek-Aloisi, France/Qatar/Belgium, 2018)
Sibel (Çağla ZENCIRCI, Guillaume GIOVANETTI, Turkey/France/Germany/Luxembourg, 2018)
The House that Jack Built (Lars von Trier, Denmark/France/Germany, 2018)

To know more about French line up and full programme at HKIFF http://www.hkiff.org.hk
Get your tickets here http://www.hkiff.org.hk/film/ticketInfo
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publié le 15/03/2019

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