In La Ciotat, near Marseille, the Festival du premier film francophone is always eagerly awaited by a loyal audience. For five days, it’s a real film festival in the oldest cinema hall in the world. This year, after months without any cinematographic news, this 38th edition obviously has a special flavor.
Installed for the first time in months in all the seats of the Eden-Théâtre, spectators rediscover the joys of cinema on the big screen. A pleasure shared by the profession. “We have all suffered from being deprived of theaters. The prospect of seeing three films a day delights me”, testifies with enthusiasm Antoine Raimbault, director and member of the jury of the festival. This year, nine shorts and nine feature films are in competition.
The spirit of the festival is to highlight the first films. “All year round, we are on the lookout for everything that the young directors are going to release. We also follow those who have come up with a short film and who are going to make their first feature”, explains Isabelle Masson, director of Eden-Théâtre and co-organizer of the festival. Talents who are confronted with the opinion of recognized filmmakers.
For this 38th edition, the president of the jury is Jérôme Enrico, who has signed numerous films and documentaries, in particular with Bernadette Lafont (Paulette, 2013). Among the members of the jury, there is also the Italian Filippo Meneghetti who received the César 2021 for best first film with Of them. This feature film has also represented France at the Oscars.
The festival also offers, out of competition, previews. A triumph by Emmanuel Courcol with Kad Merad, which is scheduled for release on September 1, 2021, will be screened on July 4 during the closing evening. Evening during which the Louis Lumière d’Or prize will be awarded to the best first feature film. An award entitled Louis Lumière because the Eden-Théâtre, inaugurated in 1889, is the oldest operating cinema in the world. This historic cultural site has screened the Lumière brothers’ films. Also an auditorium, Fernandel made his debut at the Eden-Théâtre.
38th edition of the Festival of the first francophone film – Cinema Eden-Théâtre, 25 Bd Georges Clémenceau, La Ciotat (Bouches-du-Rhône) – Until July 4, 2021 – Price for 1 screening € 5, festival pass for 1 day € 10, pass festival 5 days 35 €.