From October 3 to 9, 2022, the 9th edition of the Saint-Jean-de-Luz International Film Festival took place. Discover the beautiful surprises of the competition, which were joined by certain themes, as well as the winners.
Festival of Saint-Jean-de-Luz: sacred, escape and love
For its 9th edition, the Saint-Jean-de-Luz Festival has selected feature films that have made traveling spectators between France, Tunisia, Belgium, Portugal, Ukraine, Spain, Italy and even Germany.
Works that were grouped by their themes, treated in a different way. belief and religion were for example at the center of several projects. In Magnificat, Karin Viard discovers at the death of one of the priests of her diocese that he was a woman, which could create a scandal within the Catholic Church. In Alma Viva, the inhabitants of a small Portuguese village are convinced that a little girl is possessed by the spirit of her grandmother, and accuse her of witchcraft. Finally, in You will choose lifeLou de Laâge suffocates in his ultra-Orthodox Jewish family and dreams of discovering another world.
The desire to escape which emerges from the film by Stéphane Freiss was also very present in this competition. In particular, he pushes Jérémie Renier to tackle everything in comedy Elsewhere if I’m there to go and settle in the forest near his home, under the circumspect gaze of his relatives. In Amore MioLola (Alysson Paradis) feels the irrepressible urge to take the road to Sardinia with her sister Margaux (Elodie Bouchez) and her son Gaspard (Viggo Ferreira-Redier), after the death of her companion Raphaël (Félix Maritaud).
Finally, the other theme that emerged was relationship to the land, and the impossibility of leaving it. Whether confined to a territory for family or economic reasons, the characters of the Spanish drama Our suns and of You will choose life seem prisoners of land that is certainly magnificent, but difficult to exploit.
Our favorites from the competition
- Alma viva : First feature film by Cristèle Alves Meira, this drama succeeds in moving from one genre to another, oscillating between family tragedy and fantasy with ease, while multiplying the tasty touches of black humor. Convinced that her grandmother was poisoned, the young Salomé (Lua Michel, formidable) finds herself possessed by the spirit of the deceased, determined to take revenge. The whole personal dimension of this project, the filmmaker’s attachment to landscapes and these family stories, give all its strength to the story.
- Elsewhere if I’m there : Taking as its starting point the burnout of a man who leaves to live on clean air and fresh water, going so far as to sing with the birds, the film by François Pirot (Mobile home) fully assumes its whimsical side, opting for a tighter format in order to stick more to the daydreams of his character. The director then puts his protagonist in the background to focus on his loved ones, who are also on the verge of a nervous breakdown. A very funny feature film on the need to take a break and the desire to slam the door, even if it means coming back in stride with a little lighter heart. Jérémie Renier, Suzanne Clément, Samir Guesmi and Jean-Luc Bideau are perfect.
- Love me : At the death of her companion, Lola prefers not to go to his funeral to avoid the compassion of others. She decides to go to Italy with her sister Margaux and her son Gaspard. Beginner as a road movie, Amore Mio remember Husbands of John Cassavetes in his way of refuse self-pity in mourning, to strive to live and fight sadness. Alysson Paradis and Elodie Bouchez are at the heart of a moving reunion, which Guillaume Gouix films up close, through a 1.33 format.
We also liked…
The House, disturbing adaptation of the eponymous work by Emma Becker by Anissa Bonnefont, where Ana Girardot shines in the role of a young writer who, for the purposes of a book on a Berlin brothel, tries her hand at prostitution.
Rita Burkovska also delivers powerful performance in Butterfly Visionthe first feature film by the Ukrainian Maksym Nakonechnyi. After spending several months in prison in the Donbass, her character Lilia, an aerial reconnaissance specialist, returns to her family. Haunted by visions and pregnant after being raped during her captivity, she does everything to rebuild herself.
Impossible not to mention two films presented out of competition, A romantic comedy and A love story. The first is a tender and catchy tale of reconquest, in which a picky musician (Alex Lutz) does everything to prove to his ex (Golshifteh Farahani) that he has changed, after several years of absence (discover our review here ). The second is a melodrama that takes the viewer into the curses and sentimental happiness of Katia (Juliette Delacroix) and her brother William (Alexis Michalik), whose most beautiful romances are also the saddest. A film full of ideas and which passes like lightning, perfectly assuming its emotional part to better grab the viewer by the throat.
Discover the winners of the festival
Here is the prize list awarded by the jury chaired by Géraldine Pailhas and composed of Stéphane Foenkinos, Charlène Favier, Valérie Karsenti and Jean-Paul Gaultier:
- Prize for Male Interpretation sponsored by the departmental council: Adam Bessa for Harka of Lofty Nathan.
- Prize for Female Interpretation sponsored by JOACASINO: Rita Burkovska for Butterfly Vision by Maksym Nakonechnyi.
- Grand Prize sponsored by Blue Efficience: Maksym Nakonechnyi for Butterfly Vision.
- Staging Award: Carla Simon for Our suns.
- Special Mention for Cristèle Alves Meira for Alma Viva.
Check out the rest of the rewards:
- Young jury prize sponsored by Porosus: Guillaume Gouix for Amore Mio.
- Public Prize sponsored by France TV: Emilie Freche for The Committed.
- SFCC Critics Award: Carla Simon for Our suns.
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Saint-Jean-de-Luz Festival: the winners and our favorites of the 2022 edition – CinéSéries
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