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France’s Deauville American film fest rolls out carpet

Deauville American Film Festival


France’s Deauville American Film Festival opens in the Normandy seaside resort on Friday, rolling out the red carpet to new forms of distribution and 60 movies.

The festival, a showcase for American films celebrating its 43rd year, will run for ten days and offer 14 films in the official competition.

Like last year the opening film is a thriller, based on a true story of a US agent infiltrating the international drug world.

“American Made”, directed by Doug Liman, has Tom Cruise starring as Barry Seal, a pilot trafficking arms and narcotics who was recruited by the CIA for ultra secret missions in the 1980s during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

The films in competition are second or first films made by promising directors. The best recent example is Damien Chazelle, who won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in 2014 for “Whiplash”.

In 2016 he met with success at the Oscars with his popular musical “La La Land”.

Among the 14 films in competition, audiences will be keen to see how judges receive “Beach Rats”, Eliza Hittman’s second feature film.

Winner of the Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival, it deals with a lost teenager, who, unsure of his sexuality, starts out with a girlfriend, while having encounters with mature men he meets online.

Also dealing with the issue of gender, “They”, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh’s first film, features a 14-year-old who, in the midst of questioning his identity, takes hormonal treatment to delay puberty.

Global streaming television giant Netflix will present “Sweet Virginia” — also in competition — from Jamie M. Dagg.

Other films on show: “The Only Living Boy In New York” by Marc Webb, produced by Amazon, “Kidnap” by Luis Prieto and distributed by TF1, and “47 Meters Down” by Johannes Roberts, broadcast by Wild side, an independent French DVD and Blu-Ray producer.

The strong presence of new methods of film distribution contrasts with the controversy in Cannes about Netflix, last June.

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The online giant refused to show two of its movies in the running for the Palme d’Or in French cinemas because strict rules mean it would have to wait three years to put them online.

“Today we are experiencing a great revolution…creating new economic and artistic conditions for the dissemination of works,” said Bruno Barde, the festival’s artistic director.

The Deauville jury will be chaired by French director Michel Hazanavicius (“The Artist”), and include actress Emmanuelle Devos, novelist and playwright Yasmina Reza, and singer-songwriter Benjamin Biolay.



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