In 2020, after confinement and when he had managed to maintain the organization of the festival alongside Saint-Jean-de-Luz entertainment and shops and Xabi Garat, manager of the Select, the artistic director Patrick Fabre set the goal of “bringing people back to the theaters, to give them back the love of the theater. Not that of the cinema, because people continue to watch films at home, but really this notion of going to the cinema”.
“We must now make the difference between event cinema and consumer cinema”
Among 100 movies
This Thursday, a few hours before unveiling the list of 20 feature films (including 10 in competition) which will be screened from October 3 to 9, he analyzed as a trend the attendance records known at a festival like that of Angoulême. , and even that of Saint-Jean-de-Luz in 2021: “We must now make the difference between event cinema and consumer cinema. For the first, there is a real appetite, while we see at the same time, throughout the year, a 30% drop in theaters. »
The creative quality cannot be questioned. To make the Luzian selection, Patrick Fabre watched around a hundred films. Including a good proportion of French works: “Which is quite easily explained since even in the Covid period, production was strongly supported by organizations such as the National Center for Cinema and we were able to continue filming in France, even if it was under special conditions. Today, there are many more French films than foreign ones. It is more than a cultural exception. »
Cinema does not live in a bubble. What characterizes its importance. Believing that the presence of a Ukrainian film (“Butterfly vision”) in the selection in competition was therefore sewn with white thread would however be a mistake: “I first took it because it is a great film. I generally try to avoid feature films that went to Cannes. He was there, in the ”Un certain regard” selection. But I couldn’t miss this story of a Ukrainian soldier returning from Donbass (the film was shot before the Russian invasion, when the conflict with the separatists was already born in the region, editor’s note). We will have the chance to count on the presence of director Maksym Nakonechnyi. It’s very instructive, very human. »
Parades of actors and actresses
The human often comes up in the words of the artistic director. It is also the term used to describe the film presented this Thursday, “The sixth child”, “which would have been in the festival program if it had not been released so early”, assures Patrick Fabre. Which also promotes diversity and openness to all audiences.
His first words to describe this 9e edition are intended for young people, from 3 to 18 years old, who have been the subject of particular attention: “It is a collective effort, wanted by the City and the various schools. About 1,300 students are registered for the various screenings — including those of ”The Astronaut” and ”The Committed”, two films from the selection — and animations that will be reserved for them. »
Let’s say it finally, the International Film Festival is also the parade of directors, actors and actresses who bring a glamorous touch, “with a rare closeness”, still appreciates Patrick Fabre: the names of Alysson Paradis (sister of) , Élodie Bouchez, Benjamin Lavernhe, Ana Girardot, Stéphane Freiss, Aure Atika, Alex Lutz, Alexis Michalik or even Pascale Arbillot, among those whose presence is announced in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, will resonate in the ears of moviegoers.