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Lights, Camera, Action!

Belle France celebrates Cannes Film Festival with an exclusive French film competition

One of the most exclusive events in the Hollywood calendar, the Cannes Film Festival starts this week. It’s the most prestigious film festival in the world, and every year, it previews forthcoming releases for the year.

We’ve decided to use the Cannes Film Festival as an excuse to compile a list of our favourite French films, we’ve had a poll in the office, and below are our top selections!

Not only that, we’ve decided to give away DVD copies of all of our favourites, one film each day for the 12 days of the Cannes Film Festival.

There are three ways for you to enter:

Enter on the WebsiteEnter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

Full terms and conditions can be found here:

So you have three chances to enter each day through each of the methods above. The competition coincides with the Film Festival, so first day to enter will be 11th May.

Now here are our recommended films, all of which are up for grabs in our competition, pick your favourite and enter on that day (we’ve listed them in order of the day they will be appearing from the 11th May), so pick the day you want to enter, or better still, enter each day!

Cyrano De Bergerac (1990)

Rating: U | Runtime: 137mins 

Director(s): Jean-Paul Rappeneau

Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Anne Brochet, Vincent Perez

Awards: Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor; 10 César Awards including for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Film,Best Music; 4 BAFTA Awards,Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Cyrano is in love with Roxane, but feels that he can’t woo her because of his grotesque nose. So he resigns himself to helping Christian win Roxane’s heart by writing love letters in Christian’s name. But does Roxane fall in love with Christian’s looks, or through the words he (well, Cyrano!) writes?

DVD Won by: Matthew Richards on Twitter 

Amour (2012)

Rating: 12 | Runtime: 112mins

Director(s): Michael Haneke

Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Emmanuelle Riva, Isabelle Huppert, William Shimell

Awards: Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or; Lumières Awards for Beft Film, Best Actress and Best Actor;  5 César Awards including Best Film and Best Director ; Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film

Retired music teachers Georges and Anne have spent their lives together, and their world is rocked when Anne suffers a debilitating stroke. The film follows the couple as they try to cope with the consequences of Anne’s illness.

DVD Won by: Lizzy Tollfree via our website.

Untouchable (2011)

Rating: 15 | Runtime: 107mins

Director(s): Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano

Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy

Awards: César Award for Best Actor for Omar Sy

This film follows a wealthy quadriplegic and his carer, who has just been released from prison. The film focuses on the development of an unlikely relationship between the pair. 

DVD Won by: Hadriana Evans via our website.

Jean De Florette (1986)

Rating: PG | Runtime: 116mins

Director(s): Claude Berri

Stars: Yves Montand, Gérard Depardieu, Daniel Auteuil, Elisabeth Depardieu, Margarita Lozano

Awards: 8 César Award nominations,  including Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography

A period drama, the story focuses on two local farmers who try to con a neighbour out of his newly inherited property. Filmed in rural Provence, this film is a great example of how beautiful the region is.

DVD Won by: Jo Carroll via our Facebook page.

Manon Des Sources (1986)

Rating: PG | Runtime: 109mins

Director(s): Claude Berri

Stars: Yves Montand, Emmanuelle Béart, Daniel Auteuil, Hippolyte Girardot, Margarita Lozano

Awards: César Award for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Supporting Role

The sequel to Jean de Florette, this film focuses on Manon, Jean’s daughter, trying to right the wrongs done to her father.

DVD Won by: Danielle Piper via Twitter.

Potiche (2010)

Rating: 15 | Runtime: 99mins

Director(s): François Ozon

Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu

Awards: 4 César Award nominations; Nominated for the Venice Film Festival Golden Lion

A comedy which follows the submissive wife of an umbrella factory owner, who has to run her husband’s factory when the workers rebel against her husband’s tyrannical rule.

DVD Won by: A. Hilmarsdottir via Twitter.

La Haine (1995)

Rating: 15 | Runtime: 97mins

Director(s): Mathieu Kassovitz

Stars: Vincent Cassel, Hubert Koundé, Saïd Taghmaoui, Abdel Ahmed Ghili

Awards: Cannes Fim Festival Award for Best Director;  César Award for Best Film and Best Producer; Lumières Award for Best Film and Best Director

The film focuses on 19 hours in the lives of three friends in their 20s from immigrant families living in an impoverished suburb of Paris. The film begins in the aftermath of a riot, and looks at the friends’ reactions to their lives around them.

DVD Won by: Keith Wolstenholme via Facebook.

L'homme Du Train (2002)

Rating: 12 | Runtime: 90mins

Director(s): Patrice Leconte

Stars: Jean Rochefort, Johnny Hallyday, Jean-François Stévenin, Charlie Nelson, Pascal Parmentier

Awards: Venice Film Festival Audience award for Best Film and Best Actor

A crime drama, the film focuses on the relationship that develops between Milan, who is in town to undertake a bank robbery and Manesquier who is due to have a major operation, both on the same day.

DVD Won by: Fiona Shepherd via our website.

Delicatessen (1991)

Rating: 15 | Runtime: 95mins

Director(s): Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Marc Caro

Stars: Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Karin Viard, Ticky Holgado

Awards: César Award for Best Debut, Best Production Design and Best Writing

A post-apocalyptic film which is set in an apartment building, and the tenants who are all struggling to survive in their new world.

DVD Won by: Sam B via our Twitter.

Etre et Avoir (2002)

Rating: U | Runtime: 104mins

Director(s): Nicolas Philibert

Stars: Georges Lopez

Awards: European Film Award for Best Documentary; César Award for Best Editing; Prix Louis Delluc; Étoiles d'Or

A documentary film about a primary school in a small rural area of France. The film follows the pupils and their teacher M Lopez through a whole school year.

DVD Won by: Keiko Taylor via Facebook.

La Vie En Rose (2007)

Rating: 12 | Runtime: 140mins

Director(s): Olivier Dahan

Stars: Marion Cotillard, Gérard Depardieu, Sylvie Testud

Awards: 4 César Awards including for Best actress and Best Sound; Golden Globe for Best Actress (Musical); BAFTA 

A biographical musical film about the life of French singer Édith Piaf.

DVD Won by: Leanna Yates via Twitter.

Amelie (2001)

Rating: 15 | Runtime: 116mins

Director(s): Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Stars: Audrey Tautou, Dominique Pinon

Awards: French Syndicate of Cinema Critics's Prix Mélies; César Award for Best Film, Best Director, Best Music and Best Production Design

A romantic comedy telling the story of a waitress, who wants to change the lives around her for the better, at the same time as struggling with her loneliness and shyness.

DVD Won by: Helen Devis via Twitter.

Good luck, and hope you are successful winning the film of your choice!