Joachim Lafosse’s Les Chevaliers Blancs won the director’s prize at last weekend’s San Sebastian International Film Festival. Vincent Lindon, Louise Bourgoin, Valérie Donzelli, Reda Kateb star in the story of Jacques Arnault, head of Sud Secours NGO, who is planning to exfiltrate 300 orphans victims of Chadian civil war and bring them to French adoption applicants. Françoise Dubois, a journalist, is invited to come along with them and handle the media coverage for this operation. Immersed in the brutal reality of a country at war, the NGO members are faced with the limits of humanitarian intervention.
Les Chevaliers Blancs was not the only French film to take a prize away from the festival. Jean-Marie Larrieu and Arnaud Larrieu won the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay for 21 Nuits avec Pattie. Caroline (Isabelle Carré), a Parisian in her 40s, arrives in a sleepy valley in Southwest France to organize the funeral of her mother, Isabelle. Caroline is greeted by Pattie (Karin Viard), who looks after Isabelle’s house. Caroline had planned on leaving the next day, but her mother’s body mysteriously disappears.
And Rudi Rosenberg went home with the Kutxabank New Director’s award for Le Nouveau, the tale of a 13-year-old boy trying to find his feet in a new school after moving to Paris from the countryside.