Fête du cinéma to open with new adaptation of classic French novel

The 2024 event will feature 44 films including a mix of local and international releases

The fête du cinéma is an annual festival of cinema and is always very popular
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France’s annual fête du cinéma starts on June 28, featuring 44 local and international films along with a new interpretation of a classic novel.

The fête du cinéma is an annual four-day national celebration of cinema in France. 2024 will be its 39th year. 

It will run from June 30 to July 3. 

Cinema tickets for participating films and cinemas cost just €5 throughout the period, and the events have historically been popular, helping to boost cinema attendance and French films. 

In 2022, when the industry was still suffering from the effects of the Covid pandemic, the fête du cinéma sold 3.2 million tickets from June 3-6 alone - more than the number sold before the health crisis.

There are 44 films taking part in the event this year, including a mix of new releases and vintage favourites. 

 Read more: To sub or to dub: the dilemma of film fans in France

The French films in the line-up include La Famille Hennedricks (directed by Laurence Arné), Hors du Temps (Olivier Assayas), Léon (Andi Nachón, Papu Curotto), and Survivre (Frédéric Jardin).

International films on the list include Kinds of Kindness (Yorgos Lanthimos), The Bikeriders (Jeff Nichols), and Inside Out 2 (directed by Kelsey Mann, and called Vice-Versa 2 in French).

A new film adaptation of the classic French novel The Count of Monte-Cristo is also being released this week.

This version of Le Comte de Monte-Cristo (an adaptation of the novel by Alexandre Dumas) will star French actor Pierre Niney as Edmond Dantès. It is directed by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre De La Patellière.

The film opens in cinemas on Friday, June 28, with tickets available for just €5 in cinemas participating in the Fête du cinéma.

This should “bring a larger audience…to this adventure”, said Mr Niney, in an interview this week.

Film tradition

Releasing the film on Friday is also a nod to an old tradition in France. 

In the early 20th century, new films were usually released on a Friday so the projectionists and technicians could check their film reels in time for Sunday, which was the only day that most working people could head to the cinema to watch the latest release.

It was only in the 1930s that Pathé started to schedule releases on Thursdays, then Wednesdays, to allow films to benefit from word-of-mouth before the weekend arrived. 

Read more: Why do films in France (almost) always open on a Wednesday?