Austin Film Society Announces Lineup for 2023 New French Cinema Week

(Jean-Baptiste Durand‘s JUNKYARD DOG, 2023)

International Guests Join Austin Audiences to Celebrate New Voices in Francophone Cinema

AUSTIN, Texas, October 17, 2023— Austin Film Society (AFS) announces the 2023 lineup for New French Cinema Week, a festival of new international films by up-and-coming Francophone filmmakers. The festival will run from Thursday, November 9, to Sunday, November 12, at AFS Cinema and will feature appearances by filmmakers at several screenings. AFS will also host an opening-night reception on November 9, with regional French wines and complimentary light bites, which is open to all those attending that evening’s film.

For more information about New French Cinema Week, click here or visit

New French Cinema Week is programmed and presented in partnership with France’s leading festival for first films — the Premiers Plans Festival of Angers, France, which is Austin’s sister city. Each year, New French Cinema Week brings Austin audiences award-winning selections and festival favorites from across the French-speaking world, many of which have yet to be distributed in the US. Xavier Massé of the Premiers Plans Festival and the Angers 400 Blows Cinema will be in attendance for the festival in person and will co-present the opening night selection. 

The 2023 festivities begin on Thursday, November 9, with an opening-night reception before Rachid Hami’s For My Country, which features the director in person for a post-screening Q&A. Then, on Friday, November 10, AFS will show Mother and Son, directed by Cannes Caméra d’Or winner Léonor Serraille (Montparnasse Bienvenüe) and shot by cinematographer Hélène Louvart (Never Rarely Sometimes Always). Saturday, November 11, features two Q&A discussions with filmmakers: Jean-Baptiste Durand will join audiences virtually to discuss his film Junkyard Dog (which will be preceded by Garance Kim’s short Eternal City), and Vincent Fontano will discuss his Sundance and Black Star-selected short film Sèt Lam in person as part of this year’s New French Shorts program. The festival concludes on Sunday, November 12, with two films. The first, Four Daughters by Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin), won Best Documentary (L’Œil d’Or) at Cannes 2023. And the closing film of New French Cinema Week is Emmanuelle Nicot’s family drama Love According to Dalva. The full program schedule is listed below.

New French Cinema Week is supported by the Premiers Plans Festival of Angers, Villa Albertine, Unifrance and The French Embassy in the United States. For My Country, Mother and Son and Love According to Dalva are a part of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine. 

Series passes are available for New French Cinema Week at a 25% off discount from the list price of individual tickets. Passes include admission into all six screenings and the opening-night reception. Click here to purchase series passes, and visit for individual tickets.




Rachid Hami, France/Taipei, 2022.
Thursday, November 9, at 7 PM

The meaning of “love of country” is explored in-depth in this modern, expansive story of a bi-cultural French family grappling with their son’s military death. Ismael and Aissa are brothers who emigrated from Algeria to France as children. As their lives take starkly different paths in France and beyond, each reckons with their debt to family and to country. Based on Rachid Hami’s personal story and memories of his late brother. Writer-director Rachid Hami joins us in person for the screening and Q&A.
A selection of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine. 

Léonor Serraille, France, 2022.
Friday, November 10, at 7:30 PM

Cannes Caméra d’Or winner Léonor Serraille directs this ambitious family epic, spanning from 1980s France to the present day. A young woman, Rose, moves with her two sons from Côte d’Ivoire to Paris with a vision for a different kind of life. A subtle, rich, and cinematic examination of family and belonging, lensed by master cinematographer Hélène Louvart. 

A selection of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine. 

Jean-Baptiste Durand, France, 2023. 
Saturday, November 11, at 2:30 PM

The days and nights are long in the Languedoc-Roussillon countryside. Here, a young man, Mirales, anoints himself king of the near-empty streets of his ancient small town, where every day is just about the same for his group of aimless young friends. With nothing better to distract them, Mirales lords over his best friend, nicknamed Dog, and the duo’s toxic relationship grows more punishing by the day. Rising French star Raphaël Quenard (known for his work with Quentin Dupieux) shines in this beautifully directed take on the discontents of contemporary rural youth. Featuring a live virtual Q&A with director Jean-Baptiste Durand. Preceded by the short film Eternal City (Ville Eternelle), directed by Garance Kim.

Various, France.
Saturday, November 11, at 5:30 PM

A selection of some of the greatest new short films from Francophone directors on the festival circuit. Includes the Sundance and Black Star selection Sèt Lam from Reunionese filmmaker Vincent Fontano; Drôles D’oiseaux, an animated selection by emerging female indie animator Charlie Belin; comedy Five-O featuring Jeanne Balibar; and Bye Bye, winner of the César Award for Best Short Film. Featuring an in-person Q&A with Vincent Fontano (dir. Sèt Lam).

Kaouther Ben Hania, France/Tunisia/Germany, 2023. 
Sunday, November 12, at 2:30 PM

Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin) inventively reconstructs the family history of a Tunisian mother named Olfra Hamouni in collaboration with Olfra and two of her daughters. Together with a cast of actors, they evoke the memories of the girls’ two missing sisters and the circumstances leading to the sisters’ disappearance. Winner of Best Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival, Four Daughters is a film that tries to find meaning in the tragic separation of a family of Tunisian women, while challenging the medium of film itself as a transmitter of family histories. 

Emmanuelle Nicot, France/Belgium, 2022.
Sunday, November 12, at 5 PM

Emmanuelle Nicot’s sensitive drama about a teenager’s recovery from familial abuse in a group home was heralded as one of the most promising debuts at Cannes in 2022. Featuring an astounding lead performance by new-discovery Zelda Samson in the title role, the film offers rich detail and unique insights into youth trauma recovery, challenging assumptions about troubled teens. 

A selection of Young French Cinema, a program of Unifrance and Villa Albertine. 

About Austin Film Society

Founded in 1985 by filmmaker Richard Linklater, AFS creates life-changing opportunities for filmmakers, catalyzes Austin and Texas as a creative hub, and brings the community together around great film. AFS is committed to racial equity and inclusion, with an objective to deliver programs that actively dismantle the structural racism, sexism and other bias in the screen industries. AFS supports filmmakers from all backgrounds towards career leaps, encouraging exceptional artistic projects with grants and support services. AFS operates Austin Studios, a 20-acre production facility, to attract and grow the creative media ecosystem. Austin Public, a space for our city’s diverse mediamakers to train and collaborate, provides many points of access to filmmaking and film careers. The AFS Cinema is an ambitiously programmed repertory and first run arthouse with broad community engagement. By hosting premieres, local and international industry events, and the Texas Film Awards, AFS shines the national spotlight on Texas filmmakers while connecting Austin and Texas to the wider film community. AFS is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. More at

Will Stefanski