French cinema is celebrated UK-wide in 25 leading cinemas and especially at Ciné Lumière on the occasion of the 26th French Film Festival UK (at Ciné Lumière from 7 to 14 November and nationwide until 16 December).

Presenting an unparalleled selection of French and Francophone cinema, this 26th edition features a wealth of genres to suit all tastes and impressive performances from an array of stellar names and emerging talents.

Festival goers will have a chance to catch some of the most anticipated movies by first class directors, from Woman Up! (Numéro Une), a topical portrait of a woman’s struggle in the corporate world, opening the festival on 7 November in the presence of director Tonie Marshall, to Jean-Luc Godard’s new experimental opus The Image Book (Le Livre d’image, 10 Nov), from Robert Guédiguian’s humanist tale, The House by the Sea (La Villa, 9 Nov) to Nicolas Philibert’s latest documentary Each and Every Moment (De chaque instant, 13 Nov), exploring the daily lives of students in a nursing school, not to forget Christophe Honoré’s critically acclaimed Sorry Angel (Plaire, aimer et courir vite, 13 Nov).

Some of the screenings of the festival are part of the Ciné Lumière 20th anniversary celebrations, including French comedies hits Return of the Hero (Le Retour du héros, 8 Nov), starring Jean Dujardin and Mélanie Laurent and Gilles Lellouche’s feelgood comedy-drama Sink or Swim (Le Grand bain, 9 Nov), the French response to the Full Monty which made a splash in Cannes this year. Celebrations will culminate with the screening of one of France’s most awarded movies ever, and one of Gérard Depardieu best roles, Cyrano de Bergerac (14 Nov) shown on a restored print and in the presence of its director Jean-Paul Rappeneau.

Several talents are announced for this edition, including directors Gilles Lellouche (Sink or Swim, 9 Nov), Pierre Salvadori (The Trouble with You, 12 Nov), Vincent Macaigne (Comfort and Consolation in France, 12 Nov) and the up and coming actor Vincent Lacoste (Sorry Angel, 13 Nov).

Classics are also on the menu with the special screenings of restored prints of Alain Cavalier’s L’Insoumis (8 Nov), Henri-Georges Clouzot’s La Vérité (The Truth, 9 Nov) and Jean Renoir’s ultimate 1937 war masterpiece, La Grande illusion (11 & 14 Nov), shown on the occasion of the commemoration of the centenary of the 1918 Armistice.

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