Jeremy Irons, 'Exorcist' Director William Friedkin Set for Paris' Champs-Elysees Film Festival

Jeremy Irons Oscars Party - P 2012
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Jeremy Irons Oscars Party - P 2012

Oscar nominee Alan Parker, Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu will also attend the French-American festival's fourth outing, which will screen new films with Michael Douglas and Melissa McCarthy.

Jeremy Irons will rule over this year's Champs-Elysees Film Festival in Paris, serving as president of the event's fourth edition and teaching a master class during the weeklong outing that celebrates American and French film.

He will share the presidential duties with Cannes best-actress winner Emilie Dequenne (Rosetta). A retrospective of some of their work will be shown, and each of them will select a favorite American and French film to showcase.

Oscar nominee Alan Parker (Mississippi Burning, Midnight Express) and Oscar winner William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) will also be on hand to give master classes as part of the program, which aims to bridge the gap between the two countries' indie film cultures. 


Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert will open the festival with their drama Valley of Love, alongside director Guillaume Nicloux.
Huppert’s latest, the upstairs-downstairs drama Asphalte, will be among the three French films to premiere at the festival. Michael Douglas-starrer Beyond the Reach and Paul Feig’s Spy, starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham, will make their European debuts at the event.

New York-based indie darlings Joshua and Ben Safdie, whose Go Get Some Rosemary took home the John Cassavetes prize at the Indie Spirits in 2011, have been given a carte blanche and will also have a hand in programming films for the festival.

The festival also announced two new parallel sections, Urban Atmospheres and American Spirit. Both will host public discussions with invited academics, journalists and film critics around the themes of their films.

The American Spirit section will examine films that touch on the idea of the “American dream” in all its forms. This year’s theme will be the American desert. Urban Atmospheres will focus on cities, with this year’s focus on Detroit.

The festival, now in its fourth year, is also strengthening its professional programs. The U.S. in Progress Paris workshop will present five unfinished American films to European buyers, while the Coproduction Village, introduced last year, aims to find producers. Six projects from Cannes’ Cinefondation student film selection will be presented to producers, and 15 films from around the globe will be presented to possible French and European partners.

The festival hands out audience awards to a selection of U.S. feature-length films and shorts, as well as a selection of French short films.

The Champs-Elysees Film Festival runs June 10-16 in Paris.