The 17th Irish Film Institute French Film Festival opens at the IFI tonight with a screening of Justine Triet’s In Bed With Victoria followed by a gala reception. Ireland’s largest celebration of French film will run for 12 days until Sunday, November 27th. Boasting 26 films across 38 screenings, this year’s programme features 23 Irish premieres, and will be packed with special guests including directors Muriel Coulin, Gustave Kervern, Benoît Delépine, Dominik Moll and Gilles Marchand.

Highlights of this year’s festival also include François Ozon’s period drama Frantz, The Unknown Girl from two-time Palme d’or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and 2016 Cannes Jury Prize winner It’s Only the End of the World, directed by Xavier Dolan.

Expected to attend tonight’s opening are Gráinne Humphreys, Festival Director of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival, broadcaster Aedín Gormley, filmmaker Dearbhla Walsh, and RTÉ’s Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy, Lorelai Harris.

Once again, the IFI will welcome a number of very special guests to the festival. Writing-directing team Dominik Moll and Gilles Marchand will present two new films: News from Planet Mars and Into the Forest, alongside a screening of their 2000 smash hit, Harry, He’s Here To Help; co-directors Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern will present popular comedy Saint Amour starring Gérard Depardieu; actress Lola Créton and director Dominique Cabrera will be in Dublin for the Irish premiere of Corniche Kennedy, while director Sébastian Betbeder will also present two new films, Marie and the Misfits and Journey to Greenland. Controversial military drama, The Stopover, winner of the Best Screenplay award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, will screen with co-director Muriel Coulin in attendance.

Documentary highlights of the 2016 programme include a screening of Bertrand Tavernier’s unmissable epic A Journey Through French Cinema, while Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent’s César-winning Tomorrow examines projects looking to effect change on a social, ecological and economic level.

The global stars of French cinema appear throughout this year’s programme with Gérard Depardieu also appearing in the odd-couple road movie Tour de France, Marion Cotillard, Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassell all feature in Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World, while legendary actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, star of Truffaut’s Les Quatre Cents Coups, portrays an ailing Louis XIV in The Death of Louis XIV.

Tickets for the IFI French Film Festival are now on sale from the IFI Box Office on (01) 6795744 and from www.ifi.ie/frenchfest. Multi-ticket packages are also available for 5 and 10 films, only from the IFI Box Office – terms and conditions apply.

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