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Activities - 11/03/2009


REVANCHE et WELCOME : 2 films du Label dans les salles françaises


Although a whole year separated the presentations of the films Revanche and Welcome at the Berlinale festival, these two films are being released on the same day in France.


Let’s look at the older film first: Revanche, the latest film by Austria’s Götz Spielmann, which was awarded the Europa Cinemas Label when it was presented at the Panorama section in Berlin at the beginning of 2008, is being released this Wednesday in 10 French cinemas by MK2 Diffusion. Since it was discovered, the film has featured at numerous festivals, carrying off several awards, notably at the Diagonale, Palm Springs and Tromsø festivals. This culminated in its inclusion in the final five nominations for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The French press has already been won over, especially Gérard Delorme of French magazine Première, who sees the film as a “fascinating case study of the themes of guilt, redemption and forgiveness. All this is conveyed in dense, raw images and supplemented by dialogue that says a great deal with a minimum of words”.
Prior to this release, the film had been distributed in Austria in May 2008, and then in German cinemas at the beginning of this year. It will soon be continuing its run by moving on to Norway, Switzerland and then British cinemas in September.

Welcome, co-winner of the Label at the last Berlinale festival (with Norwegian film North), may be a more recent film but it has already been snapped up by several European distributors: Agora Film for Switzerland, Cineart for the Benelux countries (release expected in Belgium on 25 March), Golem for Spain, Arsenal for Germany and Austria, Camera for Denmark, Teodora for Italy, Filmtrade for Greece and Folketsbio for Sweden.
Co-written with successful young writer Olivier Adam, Welcome is the new film by Philippe Lioret, who has been no stranger to success at the French box office ever since Mademoiselle in 2001: Don’t Worry, I’m Fine came close to achieving a million admissions three years ago. 
With this film Philippe Lioret has given a more political dimension to his work, examining the fate of illegal immigrants waiting in Calais for a way to get to the UK. The Label jury in Berlin declared: “Welcome is a robust and very moving drama that is driven by powerful performances from the actors and deals with topical issues”. As Christophe Narbonne (also of Première) observes, “as Lioret’s filmography grows, the darker and more refined it becomes (...) Welcome deals with the state of the world and the complexity of the soul with admirable minimalism.” The film is being distributed 210 cinemas by Mars Distribution.

Jean-Baptiste Selliez (with Stéphanie Dufour)