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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



SBIFF Reveals Inaugural 'The Wave' Film Festival Program Featuring French Cinema; July 16-20, 2014



Santa Barbara, CA –SBIFF’s brand new summer film showcase “The Wave Film Festival” announces its highly anticipated line up for the inaugural year. This first edition will focus solely on an eclectic mix of eleven brand new French films, sure to delight the hungry cinephiles of Santa Barbara. The five day festival begins Wednesday July 16 and continues through Sunday, July 20, 2014 at the Riviera Theatre.

Said SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling, “It's fitting that as we approach the 30th anniversary SBIFF expands its programming and have more of a year round presence with the Wave Film Festival. In the future we hope to have several editions -- or 'waves' -- throughout the year, allowing for longevity and continued growth for SBIFF as well as the Santa Barbara community.”

The official schedule is available at SBIFF will announce the final two films for The Wave Film Festival during the first week of July.

THE LINEUP: -"Playing Dead" (Je fais le mort). Directed by Jean-Paul Salomé. Jean, a forty-year-old struggling out-of-work actor has hit rock bottom. Although open to any kind of work, he can't get a break. At the unemployment office, his counselor has a rather odd proposal: he can get a job helping the police reconstruct crime scenes by standing in for the dead victim. Jean's obsession for detail impresses the detectives, allowing him to take a leading role in a sensitive investigation in Megève ski resort, after a series of murders.

-"Not My Type" (Pas son genre). Directed by Lucas Belvaux. Clement, a young Parisian philosophy professor is transferred to Arras for a year. Far from Paris and its nightlife, he doesn’t quite know what to do with his free time. Then he meets Jennifer, a pretty hairdresser who becomes his lover. While Clement’s life revolves around Kant and Proust, Jennifer’s is punctuated with chick lit, tabloids and karaoke evenings with her girlfriends. Free love and free hearts, they could live a beautiful romance together; but is it enough to bridge the gaping social and cultural divide between them?

"Brotherhood of Tears" (La confrérie des larmes). Directed by Jean-Baptiste Andréa. Gabriel, in his thirties, lives in Paris where he raises his daughter, Juliette, alone. An ex-cop retired from the force after a personal tragedy, he has difficulty making ends meet. One day, a former acquaintance offers him an extremely high-paying job. If he accepts, Gabriel will have to travel around the world delivering briefcases to anonymous associates. The terms of the contract are very clear: Never, under any circumstances, should he ask any questions about the contents of the briefcases; nor should he ever try to open them. Intrigued by this offer and convinced that the job will free him from his financial struggles, Gabriel embarks on the adventure. It doesn’t take long before money starts flowing in. But when his daughter starts complaining she misses her ever-absent father, he has no way of stopping this machinery that increasingly suffocates and engulfs him.

-"Suzanne". Directed by Katell Quillévéré. Like the titular song by Leonard Cohen, Suzanne is ultimately about a state of mind, a study in finding a sliver of grace amongst the heaps of garbage life can throw at you. Suzanne is close to her family, but between her widower father and her quiet sister, she is the troublemaker of the bunch. Restless and quixotic, her forgiving family endlessly endures the consequences of her dreams, her whims, and her bad choices. Largely set in 1990s Marseilles, the story elliptically pogo-dances through 25 years of Suzanne’s turbulent life: childhood, early pregnancy, single parenting, and above all, her driving love for an aspiring bad boy. The episodic structure perfectly mirrors Suzanne’s mercurial temperament, and Sara Forestier’s touching, contained performance holds it all together.

-"Weekends" in Normandy (Week-ends). Directed by Anne Villacèque. Sometimes it doesn't take much to ruin a weekend in the country. A simple misunderstanding in a supermarket parking lot, one wrong reaction and suddenly everything goes off track. Nothing seems to be going right for Christine. Jean is leaving her, Sylvette and Ulrich, her oldest friends, are a little less friendly these days. Everything’s falling apart. But life is always full of surprises.

-"9 Month Stretch" (9 mois ferme). Directed by Albert Dupontel. Ariane Felder is pregnant. Since she’s a young judge with strict morals and a hardened single woman, it’s more than a surprise. And even more surprising is that after paternity tests; the father of the unborn child is revealed as Bob Nolan, a criminal who’s being pursued for a monstrous crime. Ariane, who can’t remember a thing, -even less having slept with him-, tries to understand what could possibly have happened and what lies ahead. She becomes desperate and when she tries to make an end to her life Bob saves her. She starts to doubt his culpability. Little by little these two characters will find themselves intertwined in this legal affective ‘imbroglio’ where after the worst, they’ll find the best.

"We Love You, You Bastard" (Salaud, on t'aime). Directed by Claude Lelouch. French rock icon Johnny Hallyday plays Jacques, a retired war photographer attempting to live a peaceful life in the Alps. With a new girlfriend, Nathalie, he appears content; but his old friend Frédéric, played by another singing idol, Eddy Mitchell, knows better. There is a little matter of four daughters, each one from a different conquest; each one estranged from him; and each leaving their shadow on Jacques’ emotional life. Realizing that reconciliation is the thing Jacques craves most, Frédéric, a doctor, concocts a little lie to convince the daughters to visit their absentee father. Well, not so little. In fact, it’s a really big lie, and as the family gathers, and accounts are settled through tears and laughter, the lie gets harder and harder to retract.

-"Attila Marcel". Directed by Sylvain Chomet. Paul, thirty or so, lives in a Paris apartment with his aunts, two old aristocrats who have raised him since he was two and who dream of seeing him become a virtuoso pianist. His life is made up of the same daily routine, between the grand piano in the living room and his aunts’ dance class where he works as their accompanist. Cut off from the outside world, Paul has aged without ever having lived… Until the day he meets Madame Proust, his neighbor from the fourth floor. This eccentric woman has the recipe for an herb tea that, with the help of music, is able to conjure up the most deeply buried memories. With her, Paul will discover his past and find the key to live his life at last…

-"Joséphine". Directed by Agnès Obadia. Josephine hates her job, her big ass, her married boyfriend, her job and can no longer stand the pressure from her parents and perfect sister, who all think that it’s high time she found a suitable husband. When her sister announces her own engagement, Josephine, in a spontaneous moment of desperation, blurts out that she too is engaged to a Brazilian millionaire. But the consequences of her (little) white lie soon come crashing down as she loses her job, her flat and must live undercover in Paris. Barely scraping through a series of completely wacky adventures, Josephine at least gains a chance at finding true love, at last…


This project is funded in part by Cultural Promotion Funds provided by the City of Santa Barbara in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission.

Passes and tickets for The Wave Film Festival are available now. To purchase or for more information, log onto The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is dedicated to discovering and showcasing the best in independent and international cinema, with an emphasis on films that consider the human condition, the environment and the diverse cultures of the world. In addition to presenting films, SBIFF engages the community through seminars, educational programs, and forums for exploring new technology.


Edited by Vanessa McMahon


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