Du 23 janvier au 3 février la diversité de la cinématographie française récente sera représentée à travers les différentes sections du festival.
Ainsi les dernières oeuvres de réalisateurs confirmés tels qu’Éric Rohmer (我が至上の愛 〜アストレとセラドン〜(2007)), Arnaud Desplechin (L'Aimée), Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of The Grain) ou encore Barbet Schroeder (Terror's Advocate) cotoîeront les premiers ou seconds films d’Isild Le Besco (Charly), Céline Sciamma (Naissance des pieuvres/水の中のつぼみ), Cédric Anger (Le Tueur), Serge Bozon (La France) ou encore Mia Hansen-Love (All is forgiven)
Eat For This Is My Body de Michelangelo Quay portera nos couleurs en compétition tandis qu’un coup de projecteur sera porté à deux films d’animation, Persépolis / ペルセポリス et Fear(s) of the dark /Peur(s) du noir .
Le Festival rendra également hommage au réalisateur Jacques Nolot.
Maestros of French cinema will head the Kings and Aces section with successful productions such as critic's acclaimed ホウ・シャオシェンのレッド・バルーン by Hsiao Hsien Hou, starring Juliette Binoche, 我が至上の愛 〜アストレとセラドン〜(2007), by the ever productive and inspired Éric Rohmer, L'Aimée by Arnaud Desplechin, back to the documentary genre with an insight into his father's past, as well as Barbet Schroeder’s Terror's Advocate, a fascinating documentary exploring the enigmatic personality of French lawyer Jacques Vergès, screened in the Time&Tide section.
Led by Abdellatif Kechiche's The Secret of The Grain, Special Jury Prize in last Venice Mostra, this year's Rotterdam selection offers a place of choice to confirmed French filmmakers: Captain Ahab, a freely inspired by Moby Dick tale awarded in Locarno 07, by Philippe Ramos, Tonino Di Bernardi’s Medea Miracle, variation around Medea’s myth with Isabelle Huppert in the leading role, Philippe Faucon's new film Dans la vie, an everyday story about Arab-Jewish relations, Maison jaune (La), by Amor Hakkar, first feature shot in Chaoui language (Berber of the Aurès region), as well as Shall We Kiss, by Emmanuel Mouret, starring Virginie Ledoyen.
Rotterdam 2008 will also pay a tribute to Jacques Nolot, a remarkable figure of independent French cinema, screening, on the occasion of the release of his last feature Before I Forget, the whole trilogy including L'Arrière-pays and Glowing Eyes.
As each year, representatives of the new generation of French filmmakers will be out in force to uphold their first or second picture: Rotterdam’s regular and praised actress and director Isild Le Besco will introduce Charly, her roaming and initiatory second film. In the same vein of adolescence torments, Céline Sciamma will present her first feature, awarded the First film Louis Delluc price, Naissance des pieuvres/水の中のつぼみ. Le Tueur, a breathtaking thriller by the young Cédric Anger, Andalucia second feature by French Senegalese director Alain Gomis, La France by Serge Bozon, an original approach of First World War, as well as 57000 km entre nous by Delphine Kreuter, picturing the impact of modern communication technologies on family relations, will all testify of a flourishing take over in French filmmaking. Critic’s praised first opus - and also First film Louis Delluc price - All is forgiven, by Mia Hansen-Love, a very sensible identity quest of a young women, will round up the French selection in the Sturm und Drang section.
The talent and the productivity of young French cinema will also reflect in the International Tiger competition with the film Eat For This Is My Body, a trip in the Haitian culture by the promising Michelange Quay, already awarded in several festivals with his short L'Evangile du cochon créole.
This year’s IFFR French selection lines up a variety of genres: besides fiction and documentary, French animation films will top the bill with the internationally successful Persépolis / ペルセポリス by Marjane Satrapi （マルジャン・サトラピ） and Vincent Paronnaud as well as the promising Fear(s) of the dark /Peur(s) du noir, six short films over dark’s fear, produced by a collective of young filmmakers under French designer Etienne Robial’s artistic leadership. More experimental French productions, at the crossroads between art and cinema will be screened in Rotterdam, such as 1952's Gil Joseph Walman' L'Anticoncept, a tribute to Oshima's Empire of the Senses by French Magnum photographer Antoine d'Agata.
Underlining the major role of France in international cinema, remarkable French co-productions are again selected in all IFFR sections, among them Le Papier ne peut pas envelopper la braise (le), an insight into the Cambodian prostitution world by the multi awarded director Rithy Panh, Izza Génini’s Nûba of gold and light, a French-Moroccan documentary over Arabo-Andalusian music, Dans la ville de Sylvia, by José-Louis Gurin and the French-Lebanon Falling from Earth by Chadi Zeneddine.