Reims Polar
4th thriller film festival

Le jury

Competition

Cédric Jimenez

President of the Jury
Director & screenwriter

Cédric Jimenez grew up in Marseille’s northern districts. In 2003, returning to France after a long stay in New York, he co-directed with Karole Rocher the documentary Who’s The B.O.S.S. – Boss of Scandalz Strategyz, which followed the eponymous collective that spawned the group NTM. He next collaborated on the screenplay for Scorpion, directed by Julien Seri in 2007.

In 2012, he co-wrote and directed Paris Under Watch, a first feature about a terrorist couple, played by Mélanie Doutey and Olivier Barthélemy, being tracked by a virtuoso hacker. The film was selected for the New Blood competition section of the Beaune Thriller Film Festival. Two years later, Cédric Jimenez returned behind the camera with The Connection, in which a judge played by Jean Dujardin goes on a solo crusade against a Marseille mafia figure played by Gilles Lellouche. In 2017, his third film, The Man With the Iron Heart, was released. Also inspired by true events and carried by  Jason Clarke, the film relates the rise of Reinhard Heydrich, who became Himmler’s right-hand man and head of the Gestapo.

In 2020, Cédric Jimenez returned to his favorite genre, the crime thriller, with The Stronghold, about a group of Anti-Crime Unit police who cross the legal line in the northern districts of Marseille, reuniting with Gilles Lellouche from The Connection, surrounded by Adèle Exarchopoulos, François Civil and Karim Leklou. The film played in Official Competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, then earned seven César nominations the following year in categories including Best Director and Best Film, and ended up winning the High School Students César.

Cédric Jimenez climbed the steps of the Cannes Film Festival Palais again in 2022 to present his new film November, a deep dive into the heart of counterterrorism during the five-day investigation that followed the November 13th attacks. Sustained by a rich cast including Jean Dujardin, Anaïs Demoustier, Sandrine Kiberlain, Jérémie Renier and Lyna Khoudri in the lead roles, the feature was also nominated for seven César awards in 2023, including Best Director.

Alexis Manenti

Actor & screenwriter

After joining the Kourtrajmé collective in the early 2000s, Alexis Manenti made his acting debut in short films by Romain Gavras and Kim Chapiron. He appeared in the latter’s 2006 film Sheitan, before truly finding his way to the big screen in 2014, when Fred Cavayé cast him in his thriller Mea Culpa. In 2016, after playing a soldier returning from Afghanistan in Delphine and Muriel Coulin’s The Stopover, he crossed paths with Gérard Depardieu in Stalin’s Couch, directed by Fanny Ardant, then with Adèle Haenel and Adèle Exarchopoulos on the set of Arnaud des Pallières’ Orpheline.

Alexis Manenti returned to thrillers with François-Jacques Ossang’s 9 Fingers (2017), detoured into science-fiction with Daniel Roby’s A Breath Away (2018) and re-teamed with Romain Gavras on The World Is Yours (2018). Recognition came in 2019 for Les Misérables, adapted from the short film by the same name, directed by Ladj Ly, whose screenplay the actor also helped write. The film took home a slew of awards, notably the 2019 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize and multiple 2020 César including Most Promising Actor for Alexis Manenti.

Meanwhile, he worked with Oliver Babinet on Sexfish (2019), Damien Chazelle on the series The Eddy (2020), Thierry de Peretti on Undercover (2020) and Romain Gavras again on Athena (2022). He recently shot Ladj Ly’s next film Les Indésirables, and currently stars in Emmanuelle Nicot’s Dalva.

Patricia Mazuy

Director & screenwriter

Born in Dijon, Patricia Mazuy, a good student, wanted to go to the École Louis-Lumière but went to HEC to satisfy her father, a baker. 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 on her babysitter’s salary 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 and she finally learned the ropes.

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), Paul Sanchez Is Back! (2018) and Saturn Bowling, released in theaters late last year.

Caroline Proust

Actress, director, screenwriter & producer

After studying at the Conservatory of Montpellier and then the Paris National Superior Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Caroline Proust worked in the theater with, among others, Stuart Seide, Philippe Adrien, Jean-Pierre Vincent, Anne Théron, Jean-Louis Martinelli, Alain Françon, Ivo Van Hove in Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge,” and most recently Christine Letailleur in Marguerite Duras’ “The Eden Cinema.”

In 2004, Canal+ launched its first season of Spiral, in which she would play the lead role for 8 seasons over 15 years: Captain Laure Berthaud, a loyal and dogged chief whose tumultuous love life and passionately pursued investigations illustrated the challenges of police work. Spiral gained international renown, and its fifth season, written by Anne Landois, won a 2015 International Emmy Award for Best Drama.

In 2017, Caroline Proust debuted as a writer, director and producer with the short film Le premier coup, followed by Journaliste(s), produced and co-directed with Etienne Saldès. She also wrote, produced and directed the documentary Engrenages dans la peau for Canal+. In 2019 and 2020, she acted in various TV movies, then appeared two years later in Hervé Hadmar’s Netflix series Notre-Dame, alongside Simon Abkarian and Roschdy Zem. Caroline Proust will return to the big screen in 2023 in Virginie Verrier’s feature film Marinette, based on soccer player Marinette Pichon’s autobiography.

Yannick Renier

Actor & director

A Belgian theater and film actor, Yannick Renier began his career treading the boards for a decade before gracing the big screen. In 2006, he played one of the twin brothers in Private Property, directed by Joachim Lafosse, alongside his own brother Jérémie Renier and Isabelle Huppert. The film was selected in official competition at the Venice Film Festival that year.

He went on to star in multiple films while maintaining strong ties to the theater. He notably appeared in 2008’s Private Lessons, also directed by Joachim Lafosse, Christophe Honoré’s 2007 musical comedy Love Songs, Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau’s 2008 Born in 68, in which he played opposite Laetitia Casta, and Sébastien Lifshitz’s 2009 Going South with Léa Seydoux.

In 2018, Yannick Renier co-directed Carnivores with Jérémie Renier. He recently appeared in Frédéric Tellier’s 2021 Goliath, Diastème’s 2021 The World of Yesterday and Anissa Bonnefont’s 2022 The House, as well as the 2021 series L’Opéra broadcast on OCS and 2022’s Neuf Mecs on Canal+.

Pierre Rochefort

Comédien, auteur, compositeur & interprète

Pierre Rochefort trained at the Conservatory of the 7th Arrondissement in Paris and the QG School. After several theatrical productions in Paris and Avignon, he made his feature debut in Benoît Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen and Lucas Belvaux’s One Night, then in television over the two seasons of The Returned, directed by Fabrice Gobert.

In 2014, Nicole Garcia directed him in Going Away. His performance earned him the Golden Swann Male Revelation Award at the Cabourg Film Festival and a César nomination for Most Promising New Actor in 2015. In theater, he toured with Fanny Ardant in Marcel Mitois’ play “Croque-monsieur.” After a recurring role in the miniseries Disparition inquiétante for France 2, Pierre Rochefort appeared on the small screen in the series HPI and Capitaine Marleau. He recently acted in Pierre Filmon’s film Long Time No See and Carlos Chahine’s film Mother Valley. He has just finished shooting Claire Vassé’s feature film Double foyer, playing opposite Max Boublil.

Also passionate about music, he started his own label and made several group albums followed by two as a solo artist: “Trente Trois Tours” (2016) and “Brumance” (2021).

Projections de films