The Cannes Film festival was an exceptional edition for French films this year. A focus on the rising generation of French actors and directors that have been highlighted in Cannes and will most certainly be the stars of tomorrow was compiled by Unifrance chief Isabelle Giordano.
They are a force to be reckoned with. Unifrance films is ready to bet that you will certainly hear about these ten talented people. They represent the
French cinema of today and will soon be on the screens worldwide.
An actress and a director, Emmanuelle Bercot began by enrolling at the Cours Florent drama school and taking dancing lessons after her baccalaureate. She
graduated from FEMIS in 1998, after winning the Prix du Jury at the Cannes Film Festival for her short film “Les Vacances,” in 1997. After her first few
roles in the films of Jean-François Richet and Michel Deville, her career as an actress took off when Claude Miller gave her one of the main roles in “La
Classe de neige” (1998). The following year, she made the headlines with the medium-length film she directed called “La Puce,” presented in the selection of
Un Certain Regard at Cannes. This film tells of the love affair between a 35-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl, played by Isild Le Besco.
feature-length film, “Clément” (2001), is about the life of a troubled woman who has one adventure after another with various men until she meets a
14-yearold boy. Her second film, “Backstage” (2004), continues to explore teenage angst through a relationship between a hit singer and a young obsessional
fan. She earned her first critical and public acclaim with “On My Way” (2013), the third film written by the director for Catherine Deneuve, in which the
star plays a woman who has decided to leave everything behind and hit the road in France.
She was indisputably the most talked about person during the
Cannes Film Festival 2015, both as an actress and a director. Thierry Frémaux surprised everyone by announcing that “Standing Tall,” Emmanuelle Bercot’s
fourth feature-length film would open the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Emmanuelle Bercot says that she has rediscovered the social fiber of her beginnings
with this tale of juvenile delinquency. After the enthusiastic and unanimous reception of her film, she won the Best Actress Award for her role as a woman
under the influence of love in the film “Mon Roi” by Maïwenn, with whom she co-wrote the script for “Polisse,” which won the Prix du Jury at the Cannes Film
Festival in 2012
Thomas Bidegain may well be one of the best known French screenwriters in the profession today, but it took him ten years to achieve this status. His
career path in film is anything but ordinary. He started out in the 1990s by distributing and producing independent American films: “Ice Storm” by Ang Lee
and “Chasing Sleep” by Michael Walker. He came back to France and joined MK2 where he became director of distribution. In 1999, he returned to production for
“Why Not.” In 2007, he told the story of his attempt to stop smoking in “Arrêter de fumer tue,” a personal diary that was turned into a documentary, then a
In the meantime, he began screenwriting and worked on several projects. In 2009, he wrote the screenplay for Jacques Audiard’s film, “A Prophet,”
alongside Nicolas Peufaillit and Abdel Raouf Dafri, which won the Grand Prix du Jury in 2009. He participated in Audiard’s next film, “Rust and Bone” and “Our
Children” by Joachim Lafosse. He was also the co-writer for “Saint Laurent” by Bertrand Bonello. Winning a César for the best original script and a César for
the best adaptation, he presented “Cowboys” at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs in Cannes this year, his first film as a director. He is also co-writer of “Ni
le ciel ni la terre” by Clément Cogitore, presented during the Semaine de la Critique, as well as co-writer of the script for Jacques Audiard’s latest film,
“Dheepan,” which won the Palme d’Or.
Louise Bourgoin attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts for five years, during which she began her career as a model. After she graduated from art school in
2004, she radically changed direction and became a presenter on cable TV. She was Miss Météo in Le Grand Journal on Canal + from 2006 to 2008. Her slot
became essential viewing and attracted a wide audience, including the attention of the film industry.
She began her acting career in “The Girl from Monaco”
by Anne Fontaine, and her performance earned her a César nomination for Most Promising Actress. This recognition led to a whole series of roles and
launched her career in film. She headed the bill of several films in 2010 (“White as Snow” by Christophe Blanc, “Sweet Valentine” by Emma Luchini, and “Black
Heaven” by Gilles Marchand). The same year, Luc Besson selected her for the leading role in “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec.”
Louise Bourgoin has played in film after film, and has taken her first steps in the international scene with her part in the American film “The Love Punch”
by Joel Hopkins. She attracted attention at the Cannes Film Festival this year with her unusual role in Laurent Larivière’s first film, “I Am a Soldier,” presented at Un Certain Regard.
Her passion for acting started at a very young age and rapidly pushed her to take drama classes. She auditioned, when still a teenager, and got her first
role alongside Isabelle Huppert in “Time of the Wolf” by Michael Haneke. After this, her career was launched and she played in a series of films among which
“L’Année suivante” by Isabelle Czajka, “Hellphone” by James Huth, “The Beautiful Person” by Christophe Honoré, “Sois sage” by Juliette Garcias, “Sweet Evil” by
Olivier Coussemacq, “Dear Prudene” by Rebecca Zlotowski, “Snows of Kilimanjaro” by Robert Guédiguian, “Thérèse Desqueyroux” by Claude Miller, “Quai d’Orsay” by
Bertrand Tavernier, “Paris Follies” by Marc Fitoussi, etc.
A filmography rich of 30 films for an actress who isn’t 30 years old yet. In 2014, the press
talked about the blooming of Anaïs Demoustier because her face and poise became essential to cinema. Present in “Bird People” by Pascale Ferran, “Caprices” by
Emmanuel Mouret, “À trois on y va” by Jérôme Bonnell and “The New Girlfriend” by François Ozon, she is Marguerite in the last Valérie Donzelli’s film,
“Marguerite et Julien” screened in Official selection in Cannes.
The son of actress Brigitte Sy and the director Philippe Garrel, he began his career in film thanks to his father, who started filming him at the age of
six in “Emergency Kisses,” alongside his mother and his grandfather, Maurice Garrel. He went onto study drama at the Conservatoire National d’Art Dramatique.
He made his real cinema debut in 2001 in the film “Ceci est mon corps” by Rodolphe Marconi. Two years later, he played opposite Michael Pitt and the future
Bond girl, Eva Green, in “The Dreamers” by Bernardo Bertolucci.
He then starred in another of his father’s films, “Regular Lovers”. His performance earned him
the César for the Most Promising Actor in 2005. Since then, he has played alongside the greatest, such as Isabelle Huppert in “Ma mère” by Christophe Honoré.
This marked the beginning of a long collaboration between the filmmaker and the actor. They worked together in the film “In Paris” with Romain Duris, then in
2007 in “Love Songs” with Ludivine Sagnier, in “The Beautiful Person” with Léa Seydoux, in “Making Plans” for Lena with Chiara Mostroianni and, finally, in
” Beloved” with Catherine Deneuve. He also topped the bill with Valéria Bruni Tedeschi in “Actresses,” whom he worked with again in 2013 in “A Castle in Italy.”
In 2010, he directed a short film, “The Little Tailor,” in which he directed Léa Seydoux. He performed once again in one of his father’s films, “A Burning Hot
Summer,” followed by “Jealousy.” In 2014, he starred in Bertrand Bonello’s film “Saint Laurent,” a role which led to another César nomination, but this time in
the best supporting role category. His first feature-length film, “Two Friends,” presented at a Certain Regard, was applauded by the critics. He also starred
in “Mon Roi,” Maïwenn’s fourth feature-length film, alongside Emmanuelle and Vincent Cassel, presented as part of the official selection.
After studying at the Conservatoire in Marseille and the Ecole Régionale d’Acteur de Cannes, Guillaume Gouix began his career in television. He played the
male lead in “The Lion Cubs,” by Claire Doyon, in 2003. Noted for his performance, especially the highly physical aspect of it and his intense gaze, he then
played a series of supporting roles as a young hoodlum in “Les Mauvais joueurs” by Frédéric Balekdjian and in “Chacun sa nuit,” by Jean-Marc Barr and Pascal
Arnold. He featured in the 2007 war film “Intimate Enemies” by Florent Emilio Siri, thus confirming his taste for complex characters.
The following year, he
was applauded for his performance in the film “Behind the Walls” by Christian Faure. In 2010, he starred in “22 Bullets” by Richard Berry and in 2011, he
established his reputation with roles in “Nobody Else But You” by Gérald Hustache-Mathieu, “Et soudain, tout le monde me manque” by Jennifer Devoldere, and
“Jimmy Rivière,” Teddy Lussi-Modeste’s film debut.
He also appeared in “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen. He more recently starred in “Attila Marcel,” by
Sylvain Chomet, in which he played the lead role, in “French Women” by Audrey Dana, and “The Connection” by Cédric Jimenez with Jean Dujardin and Gilles
Lelouche. He performed in three films presented at Cannes this year (“Les Anarchistes” by Elie Wajeman, which opened the Semaine de la Critique, “La Vie en
grand” by Mathieu Vadepied, which closed the week, and in “Enragés” by Eric Hannezo, screened at the Cinéma de la Plage). He also directed his first short
film “Alexis Ivanovitch, vous êtes mon héros” in 2011 and will soon start on a feature-length film, which is currently being written. He will be topping the
bill in 2015 with “Braqueurs,” a thriller by Julien Leclercq.
Born in Greece to French parents, Ariane Labed has always navigated between her two countries. She studied drama at the University of Provence and began
her acting career treading the boards. After setting up a company combining dance and theater, Ariane Labed returned to live in Greece where she played at
the National Theater of Athens. 2010 was the year of her first film, “Attenberg,” directed by Athiná-Rachél Tsangári. “Alps” by Yorgos Lanthi-mos, the
following year, confirmed the talent of this strangely charming actress. Two years later, she starred in “Before Midnight” by Richard Linklater where she
played the role of Anna. The follow-up to “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset,” this third part of the saga was a great success, making Labed known to a wider
In 2014, she played a young sailor in “Fidelio, Alice’s Odyssey,” who is torn between faithfulness and her desire to live her life. Winning the
best actress award at the Locarno Film Festival and nominated for a César, the French actress gives a brilliant performance in Lucie Borleteau’s first
feature-length film. She joined Yorgos Lanthimos in Cannes in 2015, where he won the Prix du Jury for his film “The Lobster.”
Vincent Macaigne is the leading light in young French cinema. He joined the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique in Paris in 1999, appearing
on stage and assuming the role of director. His free adaptations of the great classics of literature and drama earned him public and critical acclaim. He
directed “The Idiot” by Dostoïevski and presented “Au moins j’aurai laissé un beau cadavre in Avignon,” inspired by Hamlet. He also rapidly made a name for
himself in demanding art-house films. In 2001, he was seen for the first time in “Replay” by Catherine Corsini. In 2007, he starred in “On War” by Bertrand
Bonello and in 2010, in “A Burning Hot Summer” by Philippe Garrel.
Since 2011, Vincent Macaigne’s presence in short, medium and full-length films has
gradually increased. Faithful to his directors, he has starred in several of their films. As is the case with his friend Guillaume Brac, who directed him
in “Le Naufragé,” “Tonnerre” and “Un monde sans femmes.” He was awarded the Grand Prix and the Prix Télérama at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film
Festival, and the Prix Lutin for Best Actor in this film. Under the direction of Vincent Mariette, he played in “Les Lézards” then “Fool Circle.” In 2013, we
find the funny and touching thirty-something in “La fille du 14 juillet” by Antonin Peretjatko, “Age of Panic” by Justine Triet, and “2 Autumns, 3 Winters” by
He was discovered by the general public at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. Considered a figurehead of the revival of French cinema,
Vincent has drawn the attention of the Cahiers du Cinéma, and even the British newspaper The Observer, which referred to him as the “new Gérard Depardieu”.
In 2011, he directed “What We’ll Leave Behind,” a very well-received medium-length film which won the Grand Prix at the Clermont-Ferrand Festival. He also
starred in Mia Hansen-Løve’s 2014 film “Eden.” He plays one of the main roles in the actor Louis Garrel’s first feature-length film, “Two Friends,” presented
during the Semaine de la Critique. He also featured in his 2011 film, La Règle de trois.
From the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique, where she attended drama classes even though she wanted to be a screenwriter, to circus tents,
Vimala Pons is an acrobat in all senses of the word. The 29-year-old actress has established her physical and poetic presence in French art-house films.
She began her career in film with Albert Dupontel in “Enfermés dehors” in 2006. She then starred in “Eden Log” by Franck Vestiel in 2007, then in “Granny’s
Funeral” by Bruno Podalydès in 2012.
Since then, we have seen her cross France in a little blue dress in “La Fille du 14 juillet,” (she plays the girl) by
Antonin Peretjatko, and changing into a lioness in “Métamorphoses,” by Christophe Honoré. The impetuous muse of French independent film, Vimala Pons played
in “Vincent” by Thomas Salvador this year. The actress has made a name for herself in 2015, in particular with “Comme un avion” by Bruno Podalydès, “Je suis à
vous tout de suite” by Baya Kasmi, “La vie très privée de Monsieur Sim” by Michel Leclerc, and “L’Ombre des femmes” by Philippe Garrel (presented at the
Quinzaine des Réalisateurs this year in Cannes). She has also begun an international career, with a leading role in Paul Verhoeven’s latest film, “Elle.”
The director Alice Winocour started out at FEMIS. After going into law, she returned to film and won three prizes for her short film “Kitchen: Prix TV5” for
the best French-language short film, best international short film and the Silver Bear at the Festival of Nations (Ebensee). For “Magic Paris,” she was
awarded the jury prize at the St. Petersburg International Documentary, Short Film and Animated Film Festival.
She continued her career by writing the
script for the film “Ordinary,” by Vladimir Perisic. At the Cannes Film Festival 2012, Alice Winocour made a marked entry in the international arena with a
film by a woman about women and the unchanging way of looking at them. In the film “Augustine,” we are told the story of a professor and his patient, played
by Vincent Lindon and Soko respectively. In 2015, she brought out her second feature-length film, “Maryland,” which was screened in the Un Certain Regard
section at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. She is also the co-writer of “Mustang,” by Denis Gamze Ergüven, presented at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs.