Le Ciel Attendra – Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar. 

  For Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar’s fourth film, the director uses a subject taken straight from the news headlines to explore the phenomenon of the thousands of young French women leaving home to join the ranks of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Just as with her last film, Les Heritiers, which used the backdrop…

Quand on a 17 ans (Being 17) – André Téchiné

After 2014’s In the Name of my Daughter, based on the true story of the unsolved disappearance of heiress Agnès Le Roux, veteran director André Téchiné is back on fictional ground with Quand On a 17 Ans. And he has delivered one of his best films to date.  Premiered at this year’s Berlin Film festival, it’s…

Top 10 female French directors to watch

With three female French directors in competition for the first time ever for the prestigious Best Director prize at the upcoming César film awards in France, it’s interesting to note Maiwenn, Emmanuelle Bercot and Deniz Gamze Ergüven are not the only woman producing quality films in what is usually a male-dominated industry. Here are ten…

Nous Trois ou Rien – Kheiron

French stand-up comedian Kheiron’s directorial debut is the true story of his parent’s flight from Iran after the Shah was replaced in 1978 by Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic.  They eventually settled in France and Nous Trois ou Rien is a sincere and moving tribute to his parents courage and determination to live by their principles.…

Asphalte (Macadam Stories) – Samuel Benchetrit

Drawing inspiration from two of his own novels,  Benchetrit has delivered a wonderfully surreal, funny, human drama set against the unlikely backdrop of a run-down housing estate in a featureless region of France.  While there have been no shortage of French films recently to use the infamous suburban Cités as the scene for gritty social…

Sissako’s Timbuktu wins coveted Prix Lumière for Best Film

Franco-Mauritanian film Timbuktu directed by Abderrahmane Sissako won the Prix Lumière for Best Film on Monday night at a ceremony dubbed the French Golden Globes. The international press based in Paris also awarded Sissako the Best Director prize. Timbuktu faced stiff competiton for best filim including Celine Sciamma’s Bande de Filles and Saint Laurent directed by Bertrand Bonello.…

20th Cérémonie des Lumières – French Golden Globes

Dubbed the French Golden Globes, the Cérémonie des Lumières on Monday night will honour the best in French-speaking cinema over the past year as decided by the international press based in Paris  The most nominated films include Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent, Benoît Jacquot’s Trois Cœurs and La Famille Bélier with four nominations each. Interestingly two young actors are both nominated for best…

Qui Vive (Insecure) – Marianne Tardieu

After Sylvie Ohayon’s Papa was Not a Rolling Stone and Céline Sciamma’s Bande de Filles, French cinema once again turns to life on one of France’s much maligned, high-rise housing estates for inspiration. While Ohayon and Sciamma found fresh takes on a well-documented social stratum, Marianne Tardieu’s Qui Vive is a disappointment, lacking rythmn and…

Bande de Filles (Girlhood) – Céline Sciamma

Widely praised at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Céline Sciamma’s Bande de Filles lives up to expectations with an emotionally-charged, vibrant tale of four young women living in one of France’s notorious housing estates just to the north of  Paris. Sciamma brings an authenticity to her film by avoiding cliché and caricature and searching beyond the…