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Polanski’s Venus in Fur to open Paris Cinema

Belgium is country of honour at summer festival in French capital which also hosts the industry-focused Paris Project co-production market.

Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur, starring his wife Emmanuelle Seigner opposite Mathieu Amalric as an actress and director embroiled in a racy, pschological battle of the sexes, will open this year’s Paris Cinema film festival.

The summer, public-focused event has drawn heavily on Cannes for its 11th edition, running June 28 to July 9.

There will be previews of Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner Blue, in the presence of co-stars Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, as well as Ari Folman’s Directors’ Fortnight opener The Congress and Francois Ozon’s Palme d’Or contender Young and Beautiful among others.  

Some 50 upcoming titles will screen at the festival.

The International Competition includes Singaporean Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo, which won the Camera d’Or for best first feature film in Cannes, and Justine Triet’s child custody, divorce drama The Battle of Solferino, which screened in the ACID selection.

Other contenders comprise Nana Ekvtimishvili Simon Gross’ In Bloom, Denis Coté’s Vic + Flo saw a Bear, Fien Troch’s Kid and Tom Shoval’s Youth.

Belgian focus

This year’s country of honour is Belgium. The programme features an homage to actress Natacha Régnier as well as focuses on directors Joachim Lafosse and Felix van Groeningen.

As well as screening a selection of works from award-winnning filmmakers such as the Dardenne brothers, Jaco van Dormael,  Chantal Akerman and Marion Hansel, there will also be a tribute to Belgian comedies with screenings of classics such as Mine Bites Dog, The Carriers are Waiting and The Sex Life of Belgians.

The line-up also features a timely revisiting of Henri Storck’s 1952 Le Banquet des Fraudeurs, a humorous examination of the impact of economic integration across the Benelux region on the eve of European Common Market. 

Farhadi feted

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi will also be feted by the festival with screenings of About Elly and A Separation followed by a meeting with the filmmaker.

Farhadi’s Palme d’Or contender The Past, for which Bérénice Béjo won best actress in Cannes, has recently been released in France.

The director received the honorary Grand Medal of Vermeil from the City of Paris during the festival’s press conference in the capital’s City Hall on Thursday evening.

Retrospectives

There will also be retrospectives devoted to the work of South African artist William Kentridge, featuring screenings of his 9 Drawings for Projection animated short film series capturing South Africa in the years immediately after Apartheid.

There will also be an eight-film retrospective devoted to French director Alain Robbe-Grillet featuring screenings of classics such as Last Year at Marienbad, Trans-Europ-Express and Successive Slidings of Pleasure.

The festival’s main professional event the co-production market Paris Project, aimed at connecting international filmmakers with French producers and distributors, will run June 3 to July 3.

The complete list of projects – including upcoming films from Terence Davies, Edwin, Cristi Puiu and Mads Matthiesen — was announced during Cannes. Click here for the full line-up.

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