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VENICE 2018

Which French directors are likely to be vying for the Golden Lion?

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- François Ozon is allegedly in pole position for the competition of the 75th Venice Film Festival, potentially to be flanked by Jacques Audiard and Olivier Assayas

Which French directors are likely to be vying for the Golden Lion?
Directors François Ozon, Jacques Audiard and Olivier Assayas

Two weeks away from the unveiling of the Official Selection of the 75th Venice Film Festival (28 August-8 September 2018) on Wednesday 25 July, rumours are flying around Paris concerning the identities of the French films that are possible candidates for a place in competition on the Lido. According to various sources, Alexandre by François Ozon (see the article) is almost certain to be participating in the hunt for the Golden Lion, a trophy that he has previously set his sights on on three separate occasions (with 5x2 [+see also:
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in 2004, Potiche [+see also:
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in 2010 and Frantz [+see also:
film review
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Q&A: François Ozon
film profile
]
in 2016).

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Another title that could potentially be selected is The Sisters Brothers [+see also:
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by Jacques Audiard (starring Joaquin Phoenix, John C Reilly and Jake Gyllenhaal), which would stand as a testament to the lobbying power of Venice Film Festival director Alberto Barbera, as the film’s producers initially envisaged a Toronto-San Sebastián double strike. If this theory turns out to be true, it would be the filmmaker’s first appearance on the Lido after taking part in the Cannes competition four times (in 2015 with the Palme d’Or for Dheepan [+see also:
film review
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Q&A: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
, in 2009 with the Grand Prize for A Prophet [+see also:
film review
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interview: Jacques Audiard
interview: Jacques Audiard and Tahar R…
film profile
]
, in 1996 with the Best Screenplay Award for Un héros très discret, and in 2012 with Rust & Bone [+see also:
film review
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interview: Jacques Audiard
interview: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
) and once in the Berlinale competition (in 2005 with The Beat That My Heart Skipped [+see also:
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]
).

With Non Fiction, Olivier Assayas may well be in competition at Venice for the second time, after having won the Osella Award for Best Screenplay there in 2012 with Something in the Air [+see also:
film review
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interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
and kicking off his career in the Critics’ Week in 1986 with Disorder. As a reminder, the director has taken part in the Cannes competition five times (with Les Destinées sentimentales in 2000, Demonlover [+see also:
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]
in 2002, Clean [+see also:
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]
in 2004, winning the Best Actress Award into the bargain, Clouds of Sils Maria [+see also:
film review
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interview: Charles Gillibert
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
in 2014 and Personal Shopper [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Artemio Benki
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
, which earned him the Best Director Award in 2016).

Nevertheless, with Barbera still engrossed in viewing the films by several directors hoping for a place under the Venice sun, the die is far from being cast yet, and the titles possibly still lying in ambush include Mademoiselle de Joncquières by Emmanuel Mouret and An Impossible Love by Catherine Corsini. Furthermore, a major surprise involving a young French filmmaker being catapulted into the competition (much like Xavier Legrand was last year with Custody [+see also:
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interview: Xavier Legrand
film profile
]
) cannot be ruled out... On the other hand, it would seem that Claire DenisHigh Life is actually angling for a North American world premiere. Lastly, a thick veil of mystery shrouds Mektoub, My Love – Canto Due by Abdellatif Kechiche, as the relationship between the director and Pathé is one of the key components of the film’s fairly hard-to-read international launch strategy.

Worth noting among the French titles that could still win a place in the various different Venice sections are Simply Love by Claire Burger (Caméra d’Or at Cannes in 2014 with Party Girl [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marie Amachoukeli, Claire B…
film profile
]
– see the article), Pearl by Elsa Amiel (see the article) and Jessica Forever by Jonathan Vinel and Caroline Poggi (see the news), unless the 71st Locarno Film Festival (1-11 August), which is due to unveil its selection tomorrow, has made a last-minute takeover bid. To be continued…

(Translated from French)

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