For the 50th edition of the Festival La Rochelle Cinéma, which will take place July 1–10, 2022, the association and staff of Fema are delighted to announce the name of the Festival President: Sylvie Pialat.
This outstanding screenwriter and producer founded her company, Les Films du Worso, in 2003. She comes to the Festival regularly to present the films of Alain Guiraudie, Patrick Grandperret, Joachim Lafosse, Corneliu Porumboiu, and Abderrahmane Sissako. In 2005, she participated in Fema with Maurice Pialat’s La Maison des bois and short subjects, as well as an exhibition of the filmmaker’s paintings. Last year, the Festival presented a complete retrospective of Maurice Pialat’s films, restored by Gaumont (see the Q&A with Sylvie Pialat and Dominique Besnehard moderated by Serge Kaganski).
In 2021, she was also chosen by Fema, Afcae [Association Française des Cinémas Art et Essai], and ADRC [Agence pour le Développement Régional du Cinéma] as the patroness of the 20th Rencontres nationales Art et Essai Patrimoine at La Rochelle (see the Q&A led by Charlotte Garson). On that occasion she gave us, in collaboration with Pathé, a preview screening of Xavier Beauvois’s magnificent Drift Away, with the film’s director and crew.
Les Films du Worso’s catalog is internationally recognized: 13 selections at the Festival de Cannes, 28 French César nominations (for 10 awards in the last 5 years), and a nomination for the 2015 Oscar for Best Foreign Film with Timbuktu.
In 2014 and again in 2015 Sylvie Pialat received the Prix Daniel Toscan du Plantier for the year’s Best French Film Producer. She has been a member of Ampas [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars)] since 2018.
“A city that opens its arms to you, theaters crowded with enthusiastic audiences, and the cinema world eager to show the films of its heritage as well as the latest productions worldwide: this is an unretouched snapshot of the Festival La Rochelle Cinéma.
What an honor to be entrusted with its presidency!
To go from delighted festivalgoer to hostess of this event, a yearly highlight for movie lovers, is a joy. I hope to rise to the occasion of all the pleasure and emotion that the Festival has given me.” Sylvie Pialat
Sylvie Pialat embodies the identity of the Festival, which has always brought together the cinema of yesterday and that of today.
We are proud that this key figure in the film world has accepted the presidency of Fema; we thank her and look forward to her guidance in the years to come.
Daniel Burg, Association President
Sophie Mirouze & Arnaud Dumatin, Festival Co-Directors
Photo © David Balicki