France comes to Israel at the 17th French Film Festival

Writer/directors Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret will appear at the film festival to present episodes of their upcoming French-language series, The Middleman.

'SOL' (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There is a lot of star power, laughs and drama at the 17th French Film Festival in Israel, which will take place  from March 18 till the end of the month. Maybe you can’t travel to France this week, but these movies, which feature the best of recent French cinema, will bring France to you.
The festival will be held at the cinematheques in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Herzliya and Sderot, as well as the Beit Hatarbut is Savyon, the Yochanan Auditorium in Netanya and Beit Hatotchan in Zichron Yaakov.
Israeli director Keren Ben Rafael (Virgins) has made a French film, The End of Love, about a young couple living in Paris and raising a young son, whose lives are disrupted when one of them must return to Israel. Ben Rafael will attend screenings of the film.
Writer/directors Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret will appear at the film festival to present episodes of their upcoming French-language series, The Middleman.
Nicolas Bedos’ La Belle Epoque is a combination of romance and comedy with just a little sci-fi/fantasy thrown in, about a husband in a troubled marriage who gets the chance to go back in time and revisit the day he met and fell in love with his wife 40 years ago. It stars Daniel Auteuil and Fanny Ardant.
On a Magical Night by Christophe Honoré tells the story of a woman who decides to leave her husband after 20 years of marriage and moves to the hotel across the street where she reflects on her life and her marriage and confronts memories of friends and lovers from her past, in a comic fantasy. It was screened at Cannes in Un Certain Regard section, where Chiara Mastroianni, who is the daughter of Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve, won the prize for Best Actress.
Chiara’s mother, Catherine, stars in The Truth, the first English-language movie by acclaimed Japanese director, Hirokazu Kore-eda (Shoplifters, Our Little Sister). She plays an actress who has just published a scandalous memoir and has to confront her outraged and embarrassed daughter (Juliette Binoche), who struggles to cope with her mother’s charming narcissism. The film will open in theaters throughout Israel in April.
Michel Ocelot’s Dilili in Paris is an animated film about a little girl who becomes involved in a mysterious incident that brings her into contact with Marie Curie, Marcel Proust, Louis Pasteur and Toulouse-Lautrec
Nicolas Vanier’s Spread Your Wings is based on a true story about a boy spending the summer with his father, a bird researcher trying to save an extinct strain of geese by teaching them to migrate across the ocean with the help of a tiny plane.
In the past decade or so, France has become a powerhouse on the European comedy scene, proving that comedy doesn’t have to be dumb to make you laugh. My Days of Glory by Antoine de Bary is a bittersweet comedy about a former child star turning 30 and trying to figure out where his life should go, starring Vincent Lacost and Emmanuelle Devos.
Some of France’s best-known actors, Sandrine Bonnaire and Charles Berling, star with newcomer Pablo Pauly in Three Days and a Life, Nicolas Boukhrief’s harrowing noir thriller about a boy who disappears from his village in the late 90s and reappears 15 years later, unsettling the lives of everyone around him.
Geraldine Nakache directed and stars in I’ll Go Where You Go, about an aspiring singer and her sister, a far more realistic type, who are brought together by their father.
Le Regard de Charles is a documentary by Marc di Demenico about the late, beloved French singer Charles Aznavour, based on Aznavour’s home movies of his life and career.
Jezabel Marques’s Sol is a comedy about a grandmother who is estranged from her family, but then rents a studio to be close to her grandson.
The festival is directed by Caroline Boneh, of Eden Cinema. The festival is also produced by the Institut Francais in Israel, Unifrance Films, the French Institute in Paris, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality and the French Embassy in Israel.
To see the full program, go to the websites of the cinematheques and venues.