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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

DIRECTED BY Céline Sciamma

Country: France
Language: French
Original Title: Portrait de la jeune fille en feu

Running Time: 120min
Film Year: 2019
Category: Films, Knight Marimbas Award

Set in 18th century Brittany, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is an exquisitely elegant French drama, an enigmatic romance between a painter and her subject. Brilliantly written and directed by Céline Sciamma, Portrait is imbued with an unmistakable female gaze and emotional depth.

Following the unexpected death of her sister, Héloïse (Adèle Haenel) is brought back from a convent and betrothed to an unknown man from Milan. Héloïse’s mother, La Comtesse (Valeria Golina), is set on having Héloïse’s portrait painted, but she refuses to pose, in rebellion against the arranged marriage into which she is being forced. So La Comtesse slyly hires Marianne, a rare female professional artist in the period, to secretly paint Héloïse’s portrait, all the while posing as her ostensible companion.

Through walks, profound conversations, and long-held, tantalizing looks, the relationship between Héloïse and Marianne evolves with delicacy and intimacy. Winner, Best Screenplay, Cannes Film Festival.

This screening is supported by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and sponsored by TV5Monde.

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Director: Céline Sciamma
Producer: Bénédicte Couvreur
Screenwriter: Céline Sciamma
Production Company: NEON

Music: Jean-Baptiste de Laubier, Arthur Simonini
Cinematographer: Claire Mathon
Editor: Julien Lacheray

Cast: Adèle Haenel, Noémie Merlant, Valeria Golino

Céline Sciamma

Céline Sciamma is a French writer and director. Her films Water Lilies (07), Girlhood (14) and Portrait of a Lady on Fire (19) all premiered as official selections of Cannes Film Festival.