Champs Elysees fest unveils debut lineup

Pix include 'Bernie,' 'Peace, Love,' 'Jesus Henry Christ'

PARIS Richard Linklater’s “Bernie,” Elizabeth Olsen starrer “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding” and Dennis Lee’s “Jesus Henry Christ” are among the 10 pics that will compete for the audience nod at the Champs Elysees Film Festival, a new Paris-based fest dedicated to U.S. indie cinema.

The fest will also host a professional sidebar called U.S. in Progress to present American films in post to more than 20 European distributors and sales agents. It’s been organized by Paris-based Black Rabbit Film, set up by Europa Distribution execs, as well as the American Film Festival in Poland and the Champs Elysees fest. Variety is a media sponsor.

Fest, launched by Sophie Dulac, founder of Paris-based Sophie Dulac Distribution and VP of communications at the Publicis Group, will take place June 6-12 with films playing in the six theaters on the Champs Elysees.

“Our aim is to create a bridge between the independent American and French film industries and help the generation of talented American filmmakers emerging today find distribution in Europe,” said Dulac.

The fest will also play a selection of Oscar-nominated (or winning) foreign-language films plus 10 French and American pics ahead of their French theatrical roll-out. French films include Alain Resnais’ Cannes Competition screener “You Haven’t Seen Anything Yet” and Quentin Dupieux’s Sundance-player “Wrong.”

American sneak premieres include Jennifer Westfeldt’s “Friends With Kids” and Wes Craven’s “My Soul to Take” in 3D.

Fest co-prexies are Gallic thesp Lambert Wilson and American actor Michael Madsen.

Harvey Weinstein will be celebrated with a retro of 11 films, including “Pulp Fiction” and “The Aviator,” and a roundtable discussing French-American co-productions.

Donald Sutherland will also be feted with a tribute and will receive the medal of Commander of Arts and Letters during the evening.

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