This year’s tribute is dedicated to French thrillers, which Reims Polar wishes to represent through its programming. The festival celebrates the diversity, richness and talent of polar made in France. This tribute will be embodied by cinema lessons and daily presentations of films by their directors:
After studying art and literature, Olivier Assayas made short films, wrote screenplays, and contributed for the magazine “Cahiers du Cinéma”. He is the author of various books dealing with cinema. His films have brought him international recognition, ever since his debut Disorder was awarded at the 1986 Venice Film Festival. Eclectic filmmaker and genre cinema enthusiast, he notably directed Irma Vep (1996), a tribute to Louis Feuillade, cyber-thriller Demonlover (2002), and ghost story film Personal Shopper, for which he won the Best Director Award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. In 2022, he signed his first television mini-series with Irma Vep, an eight-part remake of his film.
The story of Venezuelan-born Marxist revolutionary Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, aka Carlos, who aligns himself with the Palestinian cause and becomes the world’s most notorious terrorist.
Born in Ajaccio, Thierry de Peretti was the winner of La Villa Médicis Hors-les-Murs Prize and received in 2001 the Best Newcomer Award by the French Syndicate of Theatre Critics for « Return to the Desert » by Bernard-Marie Koltès. In 2015, he directed “The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant” by R.W. Fassbinder at the Théâtre de l’Œuvre. He also acted in various films such as Patrice Chéreau’s Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train (1998), Orso Miret’s Le Silence (2004) and Bertrand Bonello’s Saint-Laurent (2014). In cinema, after two shorts, Le Jour de ma mort (2006) and Sleepwalkers (2011), he directed his feature debut Apaches, selected at the 2013 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, A Violent Life, selected at the 2017 Cannes Critics’ Week, and recently Undercover, presented in competition at the 2021 San Sebastian Film Festival and nominated this year for the Best Adaptation César Award.
French customs seize seven tons of cannabis in the heart of Paris. That same day, a former narcotics infiltrator claims to be able to demonstrate the existence of state trafficking led by Jacques Billard, a high-ranking French police officer.
Born in Aubervilliers, France, he studied economics at Paris Dauphine University but his passion for cinema prompted him to go further down that direction. In 1999, he enrolled at Paris Saint Denis University to study filmmaking. After making some experimental films and two genre short films, he co-wrote and directed his feature debut Caged in 2010. He then made psychological thriller A Perfect Man (2015), starring Pierre Niney, and action film Burn Out (2017). He reunited with the actor on Black Box, which was a great commercial and critical success and won the Claude Chabrol Prize last year. His new film, Visions, will be released in the near future.
To save his loved ones, Tony must use his motorcycle talents for drug deliveries.
Cédric Jimenez directed his first feature film in 2012, Paris Under Watch, centered around a couple of terrorists played by Mélanie Doutey and Olivier Barthélémy. Two years later, he surrounded himself with Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche to shoot The Connection, before directing The Man with the Iron Heart in 2017. Cédric Jimenez then returned to his favorite genre, thriller, with The Stronghold, presented at the Cannes Film Festival 2021 and winner of the César des Lycéens. He came back again at Cannes in 2022 to present his new film, November, a dive into the heart of Anti-Terrorism during the five days of investigation which followed the 11/13/2015 attacks in Paris. The feature film was also nominated seven times at the César 2023, notably for the Best Director Award.
An anonymous hacker spends his time watching images from public security cameras and private webcams. He will use his skills to track the culprits of a terrorist attack in a train station of Paris.
Cédric Kahn directed his first feature film Railway Bar in 1992, then won the Jean-Vigo Award for Too Much Happiness (1994) and the Louis-Delluc Award for Boredom (1998). He was in competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival with thriller Roberto Succo, then directed Red Lights (2004), The Plane (2005), Regrets (2009), A Better Life (2011), Wild Life (2014), The Prayer (2018), and Happy Birthday (2019). After a first experience with acting in 1995 in Xavier Beauvois’ Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die, he notably appeared later in Axelle Ropert’s Miss and the Doctors (2013), Élie Wajeman’s The Anarchists (2015), Joachim Lafosse’s After Love (2016), Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, (2018), and Cédric Jimenez’s November (2022). He recently directed Making of and Le Procès Goldman.
Along the route from the Mediterranean to Savoy, a series of burglaries, muggings, rapes and inexplicable murders occur. The French police investigate. As the evidence slowly fits together, it leads to the trail of a dangerous Italian criminal on the run…
The pulse of cinema courses through Vincent Lindon’s films. His career is associated with the greatest French filmmakers of yesteryear and today, and hence with all the international awards from the greatest festivals, including the Palme d’Or and the Golden Bear from the recent Cannes and Berlin editions. Audiences agreed, making Another World, Stéphane Brizé’s latest film, a great success. The profession too, appointing him last year president of the Cannes Film Festival.
Jacques is a journalist at a large regional newspaper in France. His reputation as an impartial and talented investigator attracts the attention of the Vatican who recruits him for a special task; taking part of a committee to investigate the veracity of a saintly apparition in a small French village.
Parallel to his career in the police and the intelligent services, Olivier Marchal took acting classes. In 1988, he got his first role in José Pinheiro’s Let Sleeping Cops Lie, and quit his policeman career in 1994. He then acted in various TV series such as Quai n°1 or Police District and films like Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One (2006) or Fred Cavayé’s Anything For Her (2008). In 2002, he directed hist feature debut Gangsters, and then 36th Precinct (2004), which won the Jacques Deray Prize and received several César Awards nominations. He also made for the big screen crime films The Last Deadly Mission (2008), Les Lyonnais (2011) and Carbon (2017), for television Borderline (2014) and for Netflix Rogue City (2020). In 2013, he won the Best Actor Award for the TV series Vaugand at the La Rochelle Festival. His new film, Overdose, was aired on Amazon last year.
A police superintendent, after 25 years of a flawless professional career, is arrested by internal affairs, before being indicted for criminal conspiracy, drug trafficking and embezzlement by the magistrate in charge.
After studying Applied Arts and Film, Sébastien Marnier published three novels: “Mimi” (2011), “Qu4tre” (2013), and “Une vie de petits fours” (2013). He is co-author of the animated series Salaire net et monde de brutes, an adaptation of his own graphic novel, broadcast on Arte in 2016. After directing three short films, he made his feature debut Faultless, starring Marina Foïs, a commercial and critical hit in 2017. His second film School’s Out was released two years later. His third feature, The Origin of Evil, was presented at the last Venice Film Festival and won this year the Claude Chabrol Prize.
In a luxurious seaside villa, a modest young woman finds herself in the company of a strange family: an unknown and wealthy father, his extravagant wife, his daughter, an ambitious woman, a rebellious teenager, and their creepy maid. Someone is lying. Between suspicions and lies, a mystery grows and the evil spreads.
Born in Dijon, Patricia Mazuy wanted to go to the École Louis-Lumière but went to HEC to satisfy her father. She focused mainly on film club, confirming her love for westerns and thrillers, discovered the Doors, already dead by then, and left school for Los Angeles. There, she made a short film and met Agnès Varda and her editor Sabine Mamou. Three years later, the latter hired her as an intern on Jacques Demy’s A Room in Town. After editing Agnès Varda’s Vagabond, she turned to her first feature film, Thick Skinned. She began writing it in 1983 for Jean-François Stévenin whose film Mountain Pass she admired. She has since directed the films Saint-Cyr (2000), Basse Normandie (2004), Of Women and Horses (2011), then the thrillers Paul Sanchez Is Back! (2018) and Saturn Bowling, released in theaters late last year.
After their father’s death, Guillaume, an ambitious policeman, inherits a bowling and asks his half-brother to handle its management. But the inheritance is cursed and both men will dive into a spiral of violence.
After directing various award-winning short films and shot a few episodes of TV series, Olivier Megaton made his feature directorial debut in 2000 with Exit, followed by the thriller The Red Siren. The films were supervised by Luc Besson who decided to hire him as second unit director on the action film Hitman directed by Xavier Gens (2007). Subsequently, he directed Transporter 3 (2008), with Jason Statham, then Colombiana (2011), with Zoe Saldana, but also the last two parts of the Taken franchise, Taken 2 (2012) and Taken 3 (2015), and more recently, the Netflix science-fiction thriller The Last Days of American Crime (2020). He directed in 2021 the Netflix documentary mini-series Monsters Inside: The 24 Faces of Billy Milligan, about a serial rapist with multiple personalities.
1992. Colombia. 9-year-old Cataleya witnesses her parents’ murder. Narrowly escaping also being killed, she takes refuge with her Uncle Emilio, a gangster, in the United States.15 years later, she works for him as a hired killer.
He studied cinema at the City College of New York, then at IDHEC in Paris, before working as an assistant editor, editor, and assistant director. His first feature film, Intimacy, was released in 1994, followed in 2000 by the thriller Harry, He’s Here to Help, presented at the Cannes Film Festival and awarded several times at the César Awards. Subsequently, he continued to explore the codes of the genre with Lemmings (2005), The Monk (2011), News from Planet Mars (2016) and Only the Animals (2019), while participating in the TV series The Tunnel (2013) for Canal+ and Eden (2019), broadcast on Arte. Recently, he directed The Night of the 12th, a thriller about a feminicide case inspired by the book-investigation “18.3 – une année à la PJ” by Pauline Guéna. The film won this year six Cesar Awards, including Best Film, Best Adaptation and Best Director.
Harry knew Michel in high school; they meet again by accident. Harry inserts himself in Michel’s life which will take a sinister turn.
After shooting two short films, two series, several television films and more than a hundred commercials, Frédéric Tellier is inspired by the hunt for serial killer Guy Georges to sign in 2014 his first feature film, SK1. The film, which required almost ten years of research and writing, won numerous awards and received a 2016 César nomination for Best First Film and Best Adaptation. In 2017, for his second feature, Through the Fire, he directed Pierre Niney as a disfigured firefighter following an act of bravery. As he did on SK1, Frédéric Tellier also served as a co-composer and co-writer on the film. Last year, he worked again with Pierre Niney alongside Gilles Lellouche and Emmanuelle Bercot for the thriller Goliath, centered around a phytosanitary scandal.
Paris, 1991. The true story of Franck Magne, a young inspector starting out in the Criminal Investigation Department. His first case deals with the murder of a young woman. His investigation leads him to study similar cases which he’s the only person to link together.