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UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilmFestival Turns Spotlight on Young Directors, Talent

Variety logo Variety 1/14/2017 Elsa Keslassy
© Provided by Variety

PARIS– Eva Husson’s coming-of-age drama “Bang Gang,” Rudi Rosenberg’s comedy “The New Kid” and Mikhael Hers’s romance drama “This Summer Feeling” are among the 10 feature movies competing at MyFrenchFilmFestival, the online initiative launched 7 years ago by French film promotion org UniFrance.

MyFrenchFilmFestival’s lineup was unveiled by UniFrance’s president Jean-Paul Salomé, managing director Isabelle Giordano and the festival’s co-directors Quentin Deleau and Simon Helloco during a glamorous event hosted at the Automobile Club in Paris.

“Bang Gang,” Husson’s provocative feature debut, world premiered at Toronto’s Platform section and features an attractive cast of up-and-comers, including Finnegan Oldfield (“The Cowboys”).

“This Summer Feeling,” Hers’s follow-up to “Memory Lane,” is a sensorial drama about passing adolescence with Anders Danielson Lie and Judith Chemla.

“The New Kid,” meanwhile, is a tender comedy about a tweener who starts at a new high school and has a hard time making friends.

Ranging from comedies to thriller and dramas, the competition lineup is completed by Danielle Arbid’s “Parisienne,” Philippe Lesage’s “The Demons,” Valérie Donzelli’s “Marguerite & Julien,” Léa Fehner’s “Ogres,” Antoine Cuypers’s “Prejudice,” Emmanuel Finkiel’s “A Decent Man” and Sébastien Marnier’s “Faultless.”

Along with their online exposure, Giordano said the films will get special screenings in select theaters across several cities, from Los Angeles to Shanghai and Marrakech thanks to MyFrenchFilmFestival’s partners, l’Institut Francais and the AEFE.

Following Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn, Argentine helmer Pablo Trapero (“The Clan”) is presiding the international filmmakers jury, which comprises France’s Rebecca Zlotowski (“Planetarium”), Bertrand Bonello (“Nocturama”), Belgium’s Fabrice du Welz (“Alléluia”) and Israel’s Shlomi Elkabetz (“Gett, the Trial of Viviane Amsalem”).

In total, three awards – the Chopard’s directors award, the international press award and the Lacoste audience prize — will be handed out.

Trapero, who attended the festival’s presentation with his fellow jury members, said he has always been a French film lover and has been touched to see that his films have been successful in France.

“Being the president of the jury is my way of giving back to French audiences,” said Trapero.

With this selection, the festival is turning the spotlight on young French directors and talent, aiming to widen the appeal of French movies worldwide and attracting younger audiences.

Last year’s edition garnered 6.5 million screenings across 206 territories, and UniFrance expects the festival will reach new heights this time around.

In most territories, the price of the movie rental will be 1.99 Euro per film and 5.99 Euros for the whole pack. In other territories, such as Africa, Latin America, India, Poland, Romania and Russia, movies will be entirely free of charge.

Films will be available on the MyFrenchFilmFestival.com platform, along with 35 other online services, including iTunes, Amazon and Google Play, across 90 territories. All films are subtitled in 10 languages.

Opening today as part of the UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema mini-market, the festival wraps in a month, on Feb. 13.

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