Carion's thriller will open Rendez-Vous film showcase

New York’s annual Rendez-Vous French cinema lovefest, set for March 11-21, will kick off with Christian Carion’s spy thriller “Farewell,” starring Emir Kusturica and Guillaume Canet.

Presented by film promotion org Unifrance and the Lincoln Center’s Film Society, the showcase features an eclectic lineup of 16 pics. Event closes with Francois Ozon’s “Le Refuge,” which was a standout at Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival.

Also screening are Xavier Giannoli’s “At the Beginning”; war drama “The Army of Crime”; kidnap thriller “Rapt,” starring Yvan Attal; comedy “The French Kissers”; and James Bond spoof “OSS 117: Lost in Rio,” which was one of 2009′s highest grossing local films at the French box office.

Some lesser known, critically acclaimed titles will also unspool. These include Axelle Ropert’s comedy “The Wolberg Family,” which screened in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight last year, and Hafsia Herzi starrer “The King of Escape.”

The Rendez-Vous will draw more than 20 Gallic thesps and helmers, including Attal, Canet, Vincent Lindon, Michel Gondry, and up-and-comers Louise Bourgoin and Melanie Laurent.

Unifrance exec director Regine Hatchondo oversees the event, which will also host Q&As with Gondry and Lindon.

Other highlights will include a special presentation of Attal’s two shorts, including his segment of omnibus pic “New York, I Love You,” and the screening of some restored Lumiere brothers films with commentary by Cannes fest director Thierry Fremaux.

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