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EVENTS France

Cantet aims for new heights at EFA

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Cantet aims for new heights at EFA

Nominated in the Best Film and Best Director categories, Laurent Cantet hopes tomorrow evening to clinch the top prize for France at the 21st European Film Awards (EFA) in Copenhagen with his film The Class [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carole Scotta
interview: Laurent Cantet
film profile
]
.

In the history of the annual European Film Awards, only one French director has previously been honoured (Jean-Pierre Jeunet in 2001 for Amélie [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), although French film was lauded in 2005 with the victory of Michael Haneke’s Hidden [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Margaret Menegoz
interview: Michael Haneke
film profile
]
.

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Winner of the 2008 Cannes Palme d’Or and French hopeful in the race for the 2009 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, The Class has amassed €9.11m in box office takings in France and €1.55m in Italy. The title will be released on January 15, 2009 in Germany, January 16 in Spain and February 27 in the UK.

Cantet previously featured among the EFA prize-winners when he was crowned European Discovery in 2000 with his debut feature Human Resources. The director was also nominated the following year – along with his co-screenwriter Robin Campillo – in the Best Screenplay category for Time Out.

Besides the phenomenal The Class, this year there are relatively few French titles among the EFA contenders. As a symbol of the circulation of European talent, the UK’s Kristin Scott Thomas will represent France when she competes for Best Actress for her performance in Philippe Claudel’s I’ve Loved You So Long [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

Editor Laurence Briaud will vie for the Excellence Award for her work on Arnaud Desplechin’s A Christmas Tale [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The awards ceremony will also see Abdellatif Kechiche receive the 2008 Fipresci Prize (European Film Academy Critics’ Award) for The Secret of the Grain [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hafsia Herzi
film profile
]
.

Among the co-productions, two features in the running for Best European Film of the Year were co-produced by France: Italian director Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicola Giuliano
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
interview: Philippe Desandre
film profile
]
(co-produced by Babe Films, StudioCanal and Arte France Cinéma - to be released in France on December 31); and Israeli director Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Les Films d’Ici and Arte France).

Finally, the Best Actress nominations for Arta Dobroshi (Lorna’s Silence [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arta Dobroshi
interview: Arta Dobroshi
interview: Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne
interview: Olivier Bronckart
film profile
]
by the Dardenne brothers) and Hiam Abbas (Eran Riklis’ Lemon Tree [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) reflect favourably on the French co-producers of these two films. Archipel 35 co-produced the former, Mact Productions the latter and Arte France Cinéma both.

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(Translated from French)

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