Director: Philippe Lioret
Cast: Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi, Audrey Dana
Duration: 106 mins
Country of Origin: France
Coarse language and themes
“Beautiful and touching. Invested with tremendous heart and humanity.”
David Stratton, ABC AT THE MOVIES
“Beautiful performances. A lovely film, an important film.”
Margaret Pomeranz, ABC AT THE MOVIES
“A masterclass. Gripping, moving and truthful.”
Paul Byrnes, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
“Miraculous. A grand romantic tale… A wonderful, deeply affecting movie.”
Mark Naglazas, THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
The multi award-winning new film from writer/director Philippe Lioret, WELCOME is a compassionate and inspiring drama about the hope of new beginnings and the power of true love, centred on two couples contending with issues of separation and dislocation.
17-year-old Bilal has spent the last three months travelling illegally across Europe, in an attempt to reunite with his girlfriend Mina who has moved with her family to England. The long journey is almost over when he finally reaches Calais, on the far northern coast of France; he can literally see his destination from across the Channel. But with all legal options exhausted, Bilal resolves that his only option is to learn to swim, and make the dangerous crossing himself. Bilal seeks the help of middle-aged swimming instructor Simon (Vincent Lindon), who is privately reeling from impending divorce from his socially-conscious wife Marion. In an effort to win her back, Simon impulsively – and uncharacteristically – risks everything by taking Bilal under his wing.
A huge critical and box office success in its native France, this profoundly moving masterwork was awarded the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, named Best Film at the 2010 Lumiere Awards, and received an astonishing ten Cesar nominations including Best Film and Director.