‘The Five Devils,’ ‘For My Country’ Win Top Prizes at Rendez-Vous with French Cinema

The 28th edition of the French cinema festival screened 21 recent films from the country.
"The Five Devils"
"The Five Devils"
Courtesy of © F Comme Film - Trois Brigands Productions

The Five Devils” and “For My Country” won the Emerging Filmmaker and Audience Awards at this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, Unifrance and Film at Lincoln Center announced Thursday.

Hosted at Lincoln Center every year, the annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema festival screens a variety of films from contemporary French filmmakers. This year’s edition, which ran from March 2-12, hosted screenings for 21 features, including opening film “Revoir Paris” from Alice Winocour, Arnaud Desplechin’s “Brother and Sister,” Louis Garrel’s “The Innocent,” and Quentin Dupieux’s “Smoking Causes Coughing.”

“The Five Devils,” the sophomore film from “Ava” filmmaker Léa Mysius, stars Sally Dramé as Vicky, a young girl with a supernatural talent for reproducing the scent of anyone and anything she encounters. The movie made its world premiere in May 2022 as part of the Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight section, where it received positive reviews from critics. The movie is the second film to receive the Emerging Filmmaker Award, which honors a director with a “unique cinematic point of view.” The selection is voted on by the Best Emerging Filmmaker Student Jury, which consists of six New York City college students selected by professors at Rendez-Vous’ partner universities.

“The Five Devils” is distributed in the U.S. by MUBI, who will release it in New York on March 24 and in additional markets March 31, prior to its streaming debut on May 12.

“For My Country,” from director Rachid Hami, stars Shaïn Boumedine and Karim Leklou and focuses on a man attempting to find answers after his younger brother dies in a hazing incident at his military academy. The 2022 Venice premiere won the Audience Award after attendees of the festival selected it as their favorite film.

According to Lincoln Center, 9,500 tickets were sold during this year’s Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, surpassing the pre-pandemic 2019 festival by 20 percent.

Lincoln Center’s next major festival, the 52nd annual New Directors/New Films program, will take place March 29-April 9. Co-presented by the Museum of Modern Art, the first time filmmaker festival will open and close with two Sundance premieres: Savannah Leaf’s “Earth Mama” and Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s “Mutt.” 27 features and 11 short films from 41 directors will screen during the fest.

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