1. With the beginning of the development of cinema, the French started filming adaptations of literary works. Thus, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Les Miserables” by Albert Capellani were released on screens. And Louis Feuillade released a detective film that was talked about all over the world – “Fantomas”.

    In the following decades, several sequels to the cult film were made. At the end of the decade, the film “I Accuse” directed by Abel Gance was presented to the public.

  2. In this period, French directors continue to bring to the screen what was once written by French writers. At this time, two films are released: “The Three Musketeers” (by Henri Diamant-Berger and Fred Niblo), “Crainquebille” by Jacques Feyder, “Les Misérables” by Henri Fescourt, “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Augusto Genina (jointly with an Italian film studio) – all of these are cult films of that time.

    And at the end of the decade, the world was stunned by the surrealistic film “Un Chien Andalou”, which can now be found in the archives of any art-house lover.

  3. Comedic short films (Jean Vito’s “Zero for Conduct,” Jean Renoir’s “Baby’s Laxative,” and Julien Duvivier’s “Pepe le Moko”) were popular in France during this time.

    French directors pioneered the poetic realism genre with the adaptation of Jacques Feyder’s “La Grande Illusion.” However, in the 1930s, the French were also pioneers in casting a black woman in a leading role (in the film “Zou Zou” by Marc Allegret). By the end of the decade, when social tensions were high, the focus shifted to military themes: Jean Renoir’s “La Marseillaise” and “The Rules of the Game” were released.

  4. In the 1940s, the main theme of films was the war (more specifically, life during the German occupation): “Fantastical Night” by Marcel L’Herbier and “Manon” by Henri-Georges Clouzot were released. French directors turned to their literature: Jacques de Baroncelli directed “Parisian Secrets” and Christian-Jaque directed “Carmen”.

    The noir film “Le Corbeau” directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot became cult, and the director also gained fame for his detective films (“The Murderer Lives at Number 21”, “Quai des Orfèvres”). The animated film “The Little Soldier” by Paul Grimault deserves special attention.

  5. During this decade, two films called “The Three Musketeers” were released (by André Hunebelle and Claude Barma) — this shows the French people’s love for Alexandre Dumas’ work. Other films were also adapted, such as “The Red and the Black” (Claude Autant-Lara) and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (Jean Delannoy). The latter also became famous as the director of the detective film “Inspector Maigret.”

    Jean Renoir directed the musical “French Cancan,” while Roger Vadim showcased the beauty of the French Riviera in the film “And God Created Woman.” However, these beauties would also appear in subsequent films by many directors of that time.

  6. In the 1960s, Jacques Demy’s “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” and “Bay of Angels” perhaps best reflect the atmosphere of the entire era in France. It was also a time when iconic historical films were made, such as “Angelique” (Bernard Borderie), whose main character would appear in later installments of the saga.

    The French were also interested in the daily lives of women, and often turned to these subjects in their films. Examples include Luis Bunuel’s “Belle de Jour,” Vittorio De Sica’s “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” and Claude Lelouch’s “A Man and a Woman.”

  7. During this decade, French directors were interested in more serious political plots. For example, Joseph Losey directed “The Assassination of Trotsky” and “Mr. Klein,” while Elvio Soto directed “It’s Raining in Santiago.”

    However, the French are also not averse to laughing, as the whole world did when the iconic comedies “The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe” and “La Cage aux Folles,” authored by Francis Veber, were released. Denys de La Patellière turned to adapting classic French works (“The Count of Monte Cristo”), and Just Jaeckin turned to erotica, directing one of the highest-grossing films of that time (“Emmanuelle”).

  8. In the 1980s, Francis Weber continued to make cult comedies that audiences would watch for many decades: “Dad” and “Les Fugitifs” were released on the screens. Special attention should also be paid to the animated comedy by the Brizzi brothers – “Asterix vs. Caesar.”

    French action movies also began to gain popularity when Jacques Deray presented his film “Outside the Law” to the public. French directors also turned to dramas, shooting “The Passerby from San Susi” (Jacques Ruffio).

  9. In the 1990s, French cinema saw a rise in interest in spy movies, largely due to Luc Besson, who directed films such as “Nikita” and “Leon.” Almost every French film of the time was infused with romance, and among the most impressive was “The Girl on the Bridge” by Patrice Leconte.

    French directors collaborated with studios from other countries, resulting in the creation of the animated film “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (in partnership with the North American film company Walt Disney) and the detective drama “The Double Life of Veronique” by Polish director Krzysztof Kieślowski.

  10. “Amelie” by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, “Angel-A” by Luc Besson – these are all films that are imbued with sentimental French atmosphere of dreaminess and romance. During this period, however, the French also preferred to make action movies – “District 13” by Pierre Morel, “Wasabi” and the continuation of the “Taxi” series by Gerard Krawczyk.

    French films of that time showed an interest in police investigations (“Empire of the Wolves” by Chris Nahon, “36 Quai des Orfevres” by Olivier Marchal, as well as “Crimson Rivers” by Mathieu Kassovitz). The drama “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” by Tom Tykwer became a real sensation, and the revolution in creating special effects was “Vidocq” by Pitof.

  11. At the beginning of the decade, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano released one of France’s highest-grossing films – the tragicomedy “The Intouchables”, which raised important questions in its plot. Luc Besson also created the popular adventure action movie “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele”.

    After that came the crime dramas “Les Miserables” by director Ladj Ly and “The Untouchables” by Olivier Marshal – however, in this decade, no French film was able to replicate the success of previous films (except for the two mentioned at the very beginning).

  12. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many plans for filming movies were pushed back, and as a result, only a few films were presented to the public during this period.

    French directors of this era turned to their own history, telling the story of the dizzying romance of the creator of the Eiffel Tower in the film “Eiffel” (Martin Bourboulon), returned to the daily life of the past with François Ozon and his film “Summer of 85”, and also filmed a romantic fantasy that could bring positive vibes – “A Mermaid in Paris” (Matthias Malzieu).




Feature Films


Gross box office


French cinema is known for its artistic and intellectual style, often exploring complex themes and ideas.

French films frequently incorporate elements of philosophy, social commentary, and cultural criticism. The French New Wave movement in the 1950s and 60s had a major influence on cinema worldwide, with its emphasis on auteur filmmaking and unconventional techniques. French cinema also has a long history of producing acclaimed arthouse and experimental films.

French cinema is characterized by its innovative approach to storytelling and its willingness to push boundaries.


creative team

François Truffaut


Jean-Luc Godard


Robert Bresson