Saturday, October 15 – Truffaut Theatre – 7:50 pm
(Screening ends at 9:55 pm)
+ Short Film Presentation: BREAKPOINT
Followed by a conversation with writer/director Lise Akoka 


Presented in Association with:
France Televisions
Kino Lorber
Pyramide International
Women in Film


U.S. Premiere | France | 2022 | Drama | 99 min | In French with English subtitles

Directed by: Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret
Written by: Lise Akoka, Romane Gueret, Éléonore Gurrey
Produced by: Marine Alaric, Frédéric Jouve (Les Films Velvet), France 3 Cinéma
Cinematography: Éric Dumont
Film Editing: Albertine Lastera
Cast: Mallory Wanecque (Lily), Timéo Mahaut (Ryan), Johan Heldenbergh (Gabriel, the director), Esther Archambault (Judith), Loïc Pech (Jessy), Mélina Vanderplancke (Maylis), Angélique Gernez (Mélodie), Matthias Jacquin (Victor), Dominique Frot (Ryan’s grandmother)
International Sales: Pyramide International
US Distributor: Kino Lorber
US Release date: 2023

A group of astonishingly gifted newcomers turn in powerful performances in this first feature from former casting directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret.  Falling somewhere between an ethical critique on the long French tradition of casting non-professional street kids in “banlieue” films, and an homage to that very genre, The Worst Ones uses a film-within-a-film structure to recount the story of a somewhat manipulative middle-aged Belgian director shooting a film in a housing project in northern France.  While the director unapologetically purloins elements from the personal lives of his young cast, it’s the nuance and emotional range of those very actors — clearly due to the talents of this film’s directors — that catch us off guard and give the film its poignant punch.

A cinema-studies graduate of the Sorbonne, Romane Gueret began her career as an assistant director, casting assistant and camerawoman.  Lise Akoka studied psychology and acting before becoming a casting director and children’s acting coach.  The two women met in 2014, while casting a feature film for which they auditioned more than 4,000 non-professional child actors. In 2015, they co-directed the short film Chasse Royale, which won the Illy Prize at the 2016 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, was nominated for a César Award for Best Short Film, and snagged two prizes at COLCOA in 2017.  They went on to co-direct the documentary Allez garçon ! for Canal+ (2018), and the web series Tu préfères (2020), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on Arte.  The Worst Ones, their first feature film, was named Best Film of the Un Certain Regard section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.