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Paris Memories – Watch Virginie Efira in the trailer for Alice Winocour’s new drama

Picturehouse Entertainment has announced from acclaimed French filmmaker Alice Winocour (Augustine, Disorder, Proxima) comes an exceptional new drama, the moving and poignant PARIS MEMORIES, which world premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival in Director’s Fortnight and will be released exclusively in cinemas nationwide from 4 August 2023.

Starring Virginie Efira (Benedetta, Elle) and Benoît Magimel (The Piano Teacher, Pacifiction) in compelling performances, Efira was awarded this year’s Best Actress César for her performance as Mia in the film.

You can read our review here.

PARIS MEMORIES follows Mia (Virginie Efira) as she struggles to make sense of her experience in the aftermath of a violent attack. Her isolation and confusion leads her to meet with others who were there, including Thomas (Benoît Magimel) who she forges a close relationship with. As Mia works through her fractured memories, she starts to rebuild her life and reconnect with the city she loves. Featuring outstanding performances, Winocour’s new film is a powerful story of hope, humanity and compassion.

PARIS MEMORIES was inspired by writer/director Alice Winocour’s experiences of the November 2015 Paris attacks, as she recounts: “My brother was at the Bataclan on November 13th. While he was hiding, I stayed in contact with him by text for part of the night. The film was inspired by my own memories of the trauma and by the account my brother gave in the days after the attack. I experienced for myself how events are deconstructed, and often reconstructed, by memory.”

With evocative cinematography of night and daytime Paris by Stéphane Fontaine (A Prophet, Rust and Bone, Jackie), PARIS MEMORIES is full of hope and a tribute to the city and the resilience of Parisians who, in the aftermath of a terrible event, can still find what Alice Winocour describes as ‘the diamond at the heart of trauma’.

PARIS MEMORIES is writer/director Alice Winocour’s fourth feature following Augustine (2012), Disorder (2015) and Proxima (2019). Having studied directing at La Fémis film school in Paris, Alice Winocour premiered her first feature Augustine, based on the relationship between Professor Charcot and his patient Augustine, in Cannes Critics Week and was nominated for the César for Best Debut Feature. Her second feature, Disorder, starring Matthias Schoenaerts premiered in Un Certain Regard and won the AFI Fest Special Jury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Directing. Her third feature Proxima received a special jury mention in the Platform Competition at TIFF 2019. Often focusing on a single protagonist dealing with a form of emotional turmoil, Winocour achieves tour de force performances from her actors. She immerses herself in research in the milieu of her film, and for PARIS MEMORIES, Winocour spoke to psychiatrists and survivors of traumatic attacks. Working with the same core team on her features, Winocour’s collaborators on PARIS MEMORIES include editor Julien Lacheray (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), costume designer Pascaline Chavanne (8 Women) and sound mixer Marc Doisne (La Vie en Rose).

Belgian born actor Virginie Efira was awarded this year’s Best Actress César for her performance as Mia in PARIS MEMORIES. Her first leading role was in 2013 in the romantic comedy It Boy, followed by In Bed with Victoria (2016), for which she received a Magritte Award for Best Actress and a César nomination. Virginie then appeared in Paul Verhoeven’s psychological thriller Elle (2016), the drama An Impossible Love (2018), the comedy drama Sibyl (2019) and the black comedy Bye Bye Morons (2020). In 2021 Virginie played the lead role in Benedetta, Verhoeven’s follow-up to Elle.

Parisian born actor Benoît Magimel has extensive film credits since appearing in his first film role at the age of 14. In 2001 he won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival for his role as a young protégé in Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher. He also starred in Claude Chabrol’s La Demoiselle D’Honneur and won two consecutive César and Lumières awards for Best Actor for his roles in Peaceful opposite Catherine Deneuve in 2021 and Pacifiction in 2022. In doing so, Magimel became the first actor in the history of both the Lumières and Césars to win Best Actor two years in a row. This year at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, Magimel starred in three films, Stéphanie Di Giusto’s Rosalie, The King of Algiers starring alongside Reda Kateb, and Tran Anh Hung’s The Pot-au-Feu alongside Juliette Binoche.

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