CHEERS TO JOY
À la joie
International Premiere | France | 2023 | Drama, Romance | 108 min | In French with English subtitles
Directed by: Jérôme Bonnell
Written by: Jérôme Bonnell
Produced by: Juliette Sol (Stromboli Films), Arte France
Cinematography: Pascal Lagriffoul
Film Editing: Julie Dupré
Original Score: David Sztanke
Cast: Amel Charif (Véra), Pablo Pauly (Sam), Raphael Acloque (Mehdi), Marc Citti, Charlotte Laemmel, Anna Suarez, Olga Mouak
International Sales: Film & Picture
Original Broadcast: Arte, TBA
March 2020. Véra makes a quick trip to Paris to feed a friend’s fish and water her plants while she’s hospitalized with a mild case of Covid. France is already abuzz with rumors of the spreading virus. But instead of hopping on a train back to Montpellier, as planned, she impulsively lies to her fiancé and says all trains have been canceled and she’s stuck in Paris… just as everyone else is hightailing it out of the city and the entire country goes into lockdown. So Véra holes up in her friend’s apartment, relieved to have a bit of quiet time to herself. Then she crosses paths with Sam — a chance meeting that changes her life.
Following two years of cinema studies at the University of Paris VIII, Jérôme Bonnell wrote and directed several short films. His first feature, Le Chignon d’Olga (2002), was screened in Rotterdam and took the FIPRESCI Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival. His second feature, Pale Eyes (2005), nabbed the coveted Prix Jean-Vigo. Just a Sigh (2013) won a Silver Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival and a Golden Swann at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival; in addition, Emmanuelle Devos garnered three Best Actress Awards — in Valencienne, Cabourg and Haifa — and Laurent Capelluto won a Best Supporting Actor Magritte Award in Belgium. All About Them (2016) earned Félix Moati Most Promising New Actor nominations for a César Award and a Lumiere Award; and Sophie Verbeek won the Best Actress Award at the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival. Bonnell’s other films include J’attends quelqu’un (2007), La Dame de trèfle (2009), The Love Letter (2021), and two episodes of the TV series Les Hautes herbes (2022).