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French Films at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

Festival, Film

Une année difficile, Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano (2023)

Multiple locations
Minneapolis, MN, 55414

April 11 - April 25, 2024


The Annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival returns April 11-25 to The Main Cinema and other venues around the Twin Cities. As the largest annual celebration of international cinema in the region, MSPIFF43 promises another exciting lineup of 200+ films from around the world including a bouquet of French films, plus an exciting array of parties, panels, visiting filmmakers, and special guests.

MSPIFF (Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival) showcases hundreds of international, independent, and documentary films and hosts scores of filmmakers and artists at the annual event. Now in its 43rd year, the festival’s success has made it one of the Midwest’s premier spring events. ! MSPIFF43 promises another exciting lineup of around 200 buzzworthy films from around the world, a bouquet of French and Francophone films and selected titles from our Young French Cinema Program

Dir. Delphine Deloget | France, Belgium.
Virginie Efira, who won Best Actress at last year’s César Awards, gives a poignant performance as a mother of two who, despite all her efforts to keep her family together in the face of adversity, still finds her legitimacy as a mother called into question. This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine.

Dir. Marie Amachoukeli | France, Cape Verde
The story follows Cléo, a six-year-old Parisian girl cared for by Gloria from Cabo Verde, who, upon Gloria’s need to return home due to her mother’s passing, accompanies her, prompting Cléo to navigate the dynamics of sharing compassion and attention with other children for the first time. Louise Mauroy-Panzani’s work as Cléo has already been regarded as one of the great child performances in cinema history. This film is part of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine.

Dir. Jawad Rhalib | Belgium, France
Amal, a teacher at a school in Brussels, inspires her students to embrace a passion for reading and the importance of expressing themselves freely, even at personal risk. Her bold teaching methods have a profound impact on the lives of both her students and her family circle.

Dir. Bertrand Bonello | France, Canada
2044: Gabrielle is terrified of her emotions. To suppress them, she undergoes a surgical process to extract past lives from her DNA. But when she meets Louis, she realizes that her fate, and those troubling emotions, are inexorably linked with his. Starring Léa Seydoux and George MacKay and based on Henry James’ short story “The Beast in the Jungle”, The Beast is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Dir. Chiara Malta, Sébastien Laudenbach | France
This vibrant animated feature follows Paulette, a harried French mother, and her spirited 8-year-old daughter, Linda, in a delightful slapstick comedy.

Dir. Éric Toledano, Olivier Nakache | France
This crazy comedy comes to us from filmmakers Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, whose The Intouchables opened the 2012 MSPIFF. One day, Albert (Pio Marmaï) and Bruno (Johnatan Cohen) stumble on an environmental activist group offering free food and brews, and they slip in, and immediately sense a way to scam these true believers.

Dir. Catherine Breillat | France
When Anne decides to begin a passionate affair with Théo, she is confronted by what she believes is love and the grim reality of manipulation and cruelty. Léa Drucker and Samuel Kircher are brilliant as Anne and Théo, playing their sad game of cat-and-mouse, and have left audiences at film festivals amazed and disturbed. This remake of the 2019 Danish film Queen of Hearts is perfect fodder for provocateur Catherine Breillat.

Dir. Ladj Ly | France
When a well-meaning doctor is chosen as an interim mayor in a Parisian suburb, and finds himself confronting a brave activist fighting for immigration rights (and herself running for mayor), his overreaction may destroy lives in Ladj Ly’s incendiary film. A follow-up to Ly’s Cannes prize-winning Les misérables (2019), Les indésirables is a gorgeous film shot with righteous anger, but leavened with hope from Anta Diaw’s activist.

Dir. Rosine Mbakam | Cameroon, Belgique

The first fiction film from acclaimed Cameroonian documentarian Rosine Mbakam sees Mambar Pierrette (played by the director’s cousin, Pierrette Aboheu), working diligently to support her children and their grandmother. Despite a tsunami of challenges, both financial and emotional, the resilient Pierrette’s connection to her family and community vibrates with compassion and humanity.

Dir. Monia Chokri | Canada, France
Sophia and Xavier have been together for over a decade, but they seem like an old couple, comfortable more than passionate. When Xavier hires Sylvain, a charismatic and handsome contractor, the door to passion is opened to Sophia.

Dir. Xavier Legrand | France, Canada, Belgium
Ellias Barnès, a 30-year-old artistic director at Maison Orsini in Paris, is compelled to return to Canada following his father’s death, where he unravels unsettling mysteries surrounding his father’s estate and encounters bizarre neighbors, transforming his mundane responsibilities into a harrowing ordeal. Director Xavier Legrand’s The Successor is at once a searing family drama and a terrifying horror epic.

Dir. JR | France
JR (co-director of Faces Places with Agnès Varda) spent three years at the California Correctional Center, a supermax prison near Tehachapi in Northern California. He not only recruited the inmates as subjects of his art project but also as intimate collaborators. Working with director Tasha Van Zandt (After Antarctica), JR created one of the most moving exhibits–and documentaries–about prison life.

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