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The 72nd Berlin International Film Festival will take place from February 10 to 17, 2022 under the motto "It all (re)starts here".
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Berlinale Competition Features Two French Masters

Thursday, February 1----With a musical biopic of legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf opening the 57th edition of the Berlin Film Festival next week, the love affair of the Berlinale with French cinema is also evident in the prominent showcasing of two French film masters in the Competition Section.

Veteran director Jacques Rivette will present the world premiere of NE TOUCHEZ PAS LA HACHE (Don’t Touch The Ax), an adaptation of a Balzac novella about a beautiful duchess who wards off the advances of a military officer. The film stars Guillaume Depardieu, Bulle Ogier, Jeanne Balibar and Michel Piccoli. The film will open in France in March.

Rivette, a world cinema icon since the days of the Nouvelle Vague in the late 1950s, previously was honored at the Berlinale in 1988 for his film THE GANG OF FOUR (which won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize that year). His most celebrated film LA BELLE NOISEUSE (1991) won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. The director was recently honored with his first US Retrospective at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. NE TOUCHEZ PAS LA HACHE is being represented internationally by French sales company Les Films du Losange.

Another Berlinale favorite, André Téchiné returns with the world premiere of LES TEMOINS (The Witnesses), which charts the dramatic emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. With an all-star cast that includes Emmanuelle Béart, Michel Blanc, Sami Bouajila and Julie Depardieu, the film follows the first stories about the outbreak and how it effects individuals, communities and the medical establishment.

LES TEMOINS will open in France in March and is being sold internationally by UGC International. Téchiné's previous film CHANGING TIMES, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu, screened in competition in Berlin in 2004.

The veteran director has been nominated for the Cesar Awards (France's equivalent of the Oscar) sixn different times, for such celebrated films as BAROCCO (1976), RENDEZ-VOUS (1985), THE INNOCENTS (1987), J'EMBRASSE PAS (1991), MY FAVORITE SEASON (1993), LES VOLEURS (1996). He won multiple awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay for his 1994 masterpiece, LES ROSEAUX SAVAGES.

Sandy Mandelberger
Berlin Online Dailies Editor

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Berlin 2019: The dailies from the Berlin Film Festival brought to you by our team of festival ambassadors. Vanessa McMahon, Alex Deleon, Laurie Gordon, Lindsay Bellinger and Bruno Chatelin...
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