date festival


Sport and cinema

With the support of the French Ministry of Culture and the Department of Maine-et-Loire
In the presence of Élie Grappe, Sacha Wolff and Kamal Ourahou, directors, Noée Abita, Anastasia Budyashkina and Toki Pilioko, actors, Sophie Charrier, Abdoullah Ait Bella, Oscar Constantin and Paul Bahin, sportsmen, Jean-Michel Frodon, Pierre Charpilloz and Bastien Moignoux, journalists, Louis Mathieu, Sébastien Farouelle, Pierre Pucelle and Dominique Terasas, film teachers and Christophe Le Gac, critic and teacher.

In the Olympic and Paralympic year of 2024, Premiers Plans is going sports!

The first Olympic Games of the modern era took place in 1896, just a few months after the invention of cinema. The Festival will be highlighting the links between sport and cinema through some films of all types (shorts and features, fiction, documentaries, animation) showing different facets of sport in various disciplines (football, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, ice hockey, rugby, skateboarding...).

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Feature films
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Tony Richardson
United Kingdom - 1962
Breaking Away
Peter Yates
United States - 1979
Raging Bull
Martin Scorsese
United States - 1980
Michael Mann
United States - 2001
Siu Lam juk kau
Stephen Chow
China / - 2001
Bend It Like Beckham
Gurinder Chadha
United Kingdom / Germany / United States - 2002
Jafar Panahi
Iran - 2006
Bennett Miller
United States - 2011
This Ain't California
Marten Persiel
Germany - 2012
De toutes nos forces
Nils Tavernier
France / Belgium - 2013
Red Army
Gabe Polsky
United States / Russia - 2014
The Program
Stephen Frears
United Kingdom / United States / France - 2015
Sacha Wolff
France - 2016
Fotbal Infinit
Corneliu Porumboiu
Romania - 2017
The Rider
Chloé Zhao
United States - 2017
L'Empire de la perfection
Julien Faraut
France / United Kingdom - 2018
Ford v Ferrari
James Mangold
United States - 2019
Charlène Favier
France / Belgium - 2020
Le Sommet des dieux
Patrick Imbert
France / Luxembourg - 2021
Elie Grappe
Switzerland / France / Ukraine - 2021

Cine-concert: On your marks, get set, burlesques!

In partnership with Printemps des Orgues

As in the days of silent cinema, when hucksters, noisemakers and musicians accompanied the films, Swiss organist Guy-Baptiste Jaccottet improvises the musical score of 3 short films on the Hybrid Organ in Angers.

The Champion
Charlie Chaplin
United States - 1915
Alice Wins the Derby
Walt Disney
United States - 1925
The High Sign
Edward F. Cline, Buster Keaton
United States - 1921


 For families aged 5 and over

Benshi, the children's cinema platform, offers families short films that celebrate bodies in motion. Humour, joy and emotion come together in this programme where sport proves to be much more than just a physical activity. On your marks, get set... get moving!

Mor Israeli
France - 2017
Suis mes pas
Nils Balleydier
France - 2022
La Cerise sur le gâteau
Frits Standaert
Belgium / France - 2019
Googbye Mr De Vries
Mascha Halberstad
Netherlands - 2012
Dans la danse
Katya Mikheeva
France - 2022
Soigne ton gauche
René Clément
France - 1936
Le sport s'anime
La Course cycliste
Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar
Belgium - 2002
Sander Joon
Estonia - 2015
Déjeuner sur l'herbe
Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar
Belgium - 2002
Veljko Popović
Croatia - 2018
Les Grandes Vacances
Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar
- 2021
Carte blanche - PSSFF Festival - Feature films
Kamal Ourahou
France / Morocco - 2023
Lands End
Ryan Sherman
United Kingdom - 2023
Carte blanche - PSSFF Festival - Short films
Where Is the Surf ?
Sebastian Krogh
Denmark - 2022
A New Wave
Sandra Winther
Denmark / South Africa / United States - 2022
Raised by Sand & Salty Water
Daniel Simón, David Corrochano
Spain - 2023
The Art of Playing
Sven Prince
Netherlands - 2023

[Intro continued]

As the critic Serge Daney put it, sporting events have their own narrative: “A match, like a film, is a little story. Sometimlesothing can happen, just like in yesterday’s final between McEnroe and Lewis (6-2, 6-2, 6-2). You go through the motions of tennis, one wins and the other doesn't, but nothing happens. A tournament is already a great story. A year of tennis is a genuine saga. (Serge Daney, L'Amateur de tennis. Critiques 1980-1990, P.O.L.) The screenplays draw a structure capable of telling a story from reality, all the more so when they intersect with broader social and societal issues: racial discrimination (Ali), sexism (Bend It Like Beckham) or identity once the passion for the sport is no longer accessible (The Rider).

The films tell personal stories intertwined with history. The representation of sport raises questions, as boxing champion Mohamed Ali feels in Michael Mann’s film. Feeling exploited by a state whose internal and external policies he rejects, Ali has fought all his life to abandon his slave name, Cassius Clay. With the strength of his fists, he destroys the shackles imposed on him and asks himself who he is and who he wants to become. “For some people of my generation, these were the most pressing questions,” said Mann, who uses a short period Ali’s career to describe his feelings about the world and its upheavals.

In sports films, it is not always the sporting challenge that is the focus. In Jafar Panahi’s Afsaid (Offside), a group of women in Iran do everything they can to watch a football match, despite the fact that women are banned from entering the stadium. Jake LaMotta, in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, may be a great champion, but the film’s interest lies in the portrait of LaMotta’s self-destructive downward spiral, between moments of grace and unprecedented violence towards those around him. It is also a question of access to sport, depending on environment or social background. In Peter Yates’ Breaking Away, one of the characters movingly recalls his aborted football career.

If there is a cliché of the sports film based on the model of popularity before the fall and inevitable rebirth, Stephen Show's Shaolin Soccer parodies it in a film somewhere between a cartoon and wu xia pan. Loyalty, honesty and the cult of ancestral values are on the side of the team of losers, but this only brings them misery and injustice.

Cinema also allows us to come down from the grandstand to get up close to the athletes, as in Charlène Favier's Slalom and its impressive skiing scenes. The fact that Le Sommet des dieux (The Summit of the Gods) is made in animation means that Patrick Imbert can fully tell a story set in an environment that is difficult to film in any other way. Two stories where sportspeople can find that surpassing themselves is a blind spot for them in their quest.

The passion for sport may be a cardinal value, often above all others for most of the characters in the films presented, but it will be sorely tested by a world that questions our deepest instincts and troubles us deeply. From yesterday to today, sport and cinema have attracted emotional, and sometimes astonished, views that can meet for a moment suspended in time.