Press 23 APR 2013

Yolande Moreau’s "Henri" closing film of the Director’s Fortnight

Belgian actress-director Yolande Moreau’s Henri will be this year’s closing film of the 45th Cannes Director’s Fortnight, scheduled May 16 to 26.

Shot in northern France and Belgium, Henri tells the story of the encounter between two marginal, lonely characters: Henri (incarnated by theatre director and actor Pippo Delbono), a washed out, solitary and slightly alcoholic man in his fifties, and slightly mentally disabled Rosette (played by Candy Ming, whom we met in Kervern–Delépine’s films Louise-Michel, Mammuth and Le Grand Soir), who dreams of love, sex and a normal life.

Yolande Moreau started her career in children’s theatre and one-woman shows (Sale Affaire, 1981), after which she was discovered by Agnes Varda, who in 2005 cast her in Vagabond (Sans Toit Ni Loi). After that, she joined Jérôme Deschamps and Macha Makeieff’s theatre company where she excelled in Les Deschiens. During the nineteen nineties, she featured in films by Dominique Cabrera, Jean-Pierre Améris, Yves Angelo, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Benoît Délépine, Gustave Kervern and Noémie Lvovsky. In 2005 she won two Césars for her directorial debut When the Sea rises (Quand la mer monte…) and a third one for her performance in Martin Provost’s Séraphine in 2009. Henri is her second directorial effort.
 
Henri is a French-Belgian co-production - Versus Production, Christmas in July, Prime Time, RTBf and Inver Invest, with the support of the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel of the Walloon-Brussels Federation, the Flemish Audiovisual Fund, Belgacom TV and the Tax Shelter of the Belgian Federal Government.
The film will be distributed in the Benelux by O’Brother and in France by Le Pacte, the latter also being in charge of international sales.
 
Henri is Versus Production’s, and French speaking Belgian majority feature film production’s, seventh selection in one of the Cannes Festival’s official sections in seven years. In 2007 Micha Wald’s Horse Thieves (Voleurs de chevaux) was selected for the Critic’s Week, followed in 2008 by Bouli Lanners’ Eldorado and Joachim Lafosse’s Private Lessons (Élève libre) in the Director’s Fortnight, Olivier Masset-Depasse’s Illégal in 2010 and Bouli Lanners’ The Giants (Les Géants) in 2011. Last year Joachim Lafosse’s Our Children (À perdre la raison) was selected for the Official Selection - Un Certain Regard.
 
Created by the French Directors Guild in the wake of the events of May ’68, the Directors’ Fortnight seeks to aid filmmakers and contribute to their discovery by the critics and audiences alike. From its initial program in 1969, it cast its lot with the avant-garde (the glorious seventies), even as it created a breeding ground where the Cannes Festival would regularly find its prestigious auteurs. The Director’s Fortnight launched filmmakers such as Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Martin Scorsese, Chantal Akerman, Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola and Jim Jarmusch.
 
French-speaking Belgian cinema will also be present in Cannes’ Cinéfondation with Sarah Hirtt’s En attendant le dégel (Awaiting the thaw). This INSAS graduation film was one of the eighteen films to be selected from  1550 candidates submitted by 277 film schools.
The film is about long divided siblings who meet for the moving out of one of them. The atmosphere is tense. Valery, Victor and Vincianne take the road, unaware of the hazards ahead...

In 1998, the Cannes Film Festival created the Cinéfondation to inspire and support new generations of international filmmakers. Since then, with the help of the Festival, the Cinéfondation has established complementary programmes to help achieve its goal : the selection, the residence and the workshop.