The 17th edition of the annual showcase of French Film will run March 1-11 in New York, also expanding nationally for the first time this year.

The 17th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Unifrance Films’ annual showcase of the best in contemporary French film, will run March 1-11 at the The Film Society, the IFC Center and BAMcinématek in New York.

The festival will open with French box office smash Intouchables, which tells the true story of the unlikely friendship between a handicapped white millionaire and his unconventional Senegalese caretaker, starring François Cluzet and Omar Sy.

The film’s directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano will be in attendance along with Cluzet. The film is being released in the US by The Weinstein Company in May.

The closing night film will be Delicacy, starring Audrey Tautou, who will attend the screening along with the directors David and Stéphane Foenkinos.

More than two dozen New York premieres will be showcased during the series, including new work from directors André Téchiné, Benoit Jacquot and Alain Cavalier.

There will also be a special screening of Marcel Carné’s Children Of Paradise.

The festival is also expanding nationally for the first time this year, by teaming up with Emerging Pictures on a select number of titles including Delphine Gleize’s Moon Child and Rabah Ameur-Zaïméche’s Smuggler’s Songs. The films will be showing in over 50 venues across the country contemporaneously with their showings at Lincoln Center via Emerging’s network of digital theaters, with Q&A’s from the Film Society venues to be broadcast live to many of those locations.

Film Society of Lincoln Center programme director Richard Pena said: “Rendez-Vous with French Cinema is always a great event in the annual cycle of the Film Society; we’re very proud of all its success over the years, and this year our line-up once again provides solid evidence of how vital, varied and challenging the French cinema remains.” 

“We’re happy to provide a rich selection of new French films for the 17th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema,” added Régine Hatchondo, executive director of Unifrance Films. “The impact of this film festival is underscored by the partnership and efforts of the Film Society, IFC Center and BAM to offer New York City fans of French cinema greater access to see these new films.”