This article is sponsored by French Film Festival UK.

The French Film Festival UK returns with a line-up to savour

The French Film Festival UK returns with a line-up to savour

Titane

Films featuring Léa Seydoux, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche and Gérard Depardieu are amongst the numerous highlights

Whether you're a seasoned Francophile, are looking to inject some culture into your life, or simply adore cinema, the French Film Festival UK has plenty to offer. This beloved annual event, now in its 29th year, continues our longstanding love affair with French and Francophone film and has just confirmed its 2021 dates, alongside one of its most eye-catching line-ups so far.

Running for six weeks, from Wednesday 3 November to Wednesday 15 December, this inclusive and accessible festival will deliver screenings all over the UK as well as online. It boasts a number of premieres across more than 30 titles, with films ranging from box-fresh features to classics and shorts. Amongst the dozens of participating cinemas are London's Ciné Lumière, Edinburgh's Filmhouse, Glasgow Film Theatre and Birmingham's MAC.

Movies featuring No Time to Die superstar Léa Seydoux are amongst this year's highlights. She'll be appearing in Bruno Dumont's festival opener, On a Half Clear Morning (aka France) about a celebrity journalist whose life is turned upside down by a car accident, as well as Arnaud Desplechin's Philip Roth adaptation Deception.

The latest films from French icons Isabelle Huppert (Promises) and Juliette Binoche (Between Two Worlds) will be screening, while festival favourite Gérard Depardieu returns in Constance Meyer's Robust, where he plays an aging actor who strikes up an unlikely friendship with his minder. And fans of Bond spoof OSS 117 will be excited to see Jean Dujardin return in OSS 117: From Africa with Love.

With so much available, you'll be spoilt for choice. To make things a little easier, here are our five films to look out for:

Playground

The recent winner of the London Film Festival's Sutherland Award for Best First Feature, Playground takes a look at the harsh world of schoolyard politics through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl who witnesses her older brother being bullied.

The French Film Festival UK returns with a line-up to savour

Playground

Paris, 13th District

Best known for his gritty dramas, including A Prophet, Dheepan and Rust and Bone, the great Jacques Audiard tries his hand at something a little different with this amorous, freewheeling romance.

Titane

Director Julia Ducournau burst onto the filmmaking scene with her provocative and grisly 2016 debut, Raw, and her follow-up doesn't disappoint. The recipient of Cannes 2021's Palme d'Or is an electrifying techo-chiller following Agathe Rousselle's killer on the run.

Josep

This beautiful and affecting hand-drawn animation from debut feature director Aurel was the winner of Best Animated Film at the 2021 Césars. It boasts ample poignancy as a dying gendarme recalls his encounter with artist Josep Bartolí in a French concentration camp following the Spanish Civil War.

Petite Maman

We're huge fans of director Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Girlhood) and her latest is a radiant fantasy drama which follows little Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) who, having just lost her grandmother, helps her parents clean out her mother's childhood home, before events take a strange turn.

The French Film Festival UK returns with a line-up to savour

Petite Maman

If you still need selling, then the festival's director, Richard Mowe, helpfully explains more: 'We're overjoyed to welcome back our faithful audiences, both in cinemas and online, to one of the strongest and most diverse line-ups of any edition of the 29-year-old festival. To whet appetites there is everything from award-winners to new talents. Thanks to all our partner cinemas for showing enthusiasm and ingenuity in their choices from the official selection and to our sponsors and partners for their unwavering support in what have been and will continue to be challenging times. Vive le cinéma! and bon festival.'

To browse the full line-up and buy tickets, head to frenchfilmfestival.org.uk.