Experience Thrillers Festival Special

Chill in Chennai

The Orphanage Poster

NDTV Lumière and Alliance Française of Madras bring to you ‘Experience Thrillers’, a five day film-festival showcasing the best in horror, suspense, mystery adventure and crime. The film festival will be held at Alliance Francaise of Madras Auditorium in Chennai from 5th to 9th August with a different movie to be screened twice everyday at 7 & 9 p.m. The Festival is free and open to all.

Experience Thrillers kicks off with ‘The Orphanage’ – a spine chilling thriller and Spain’s official entry for the 2008 Academy Awards. Directed by the award winning young film-maker Juan Antonio Bayona and produced by the renowned Guillermo Del Toro, this thriller stars Spanish actress Belèn Rueda and Geraldine Chaplin (the grand-daughter of Charlie Chaplin).

Watch desire and vengeance meet in a musical thriller ‘The Page Turner’ or get caught in the twisting tale of fate and fatality in ’Crossed Tracks’, where nothing is what it seems. Be a part of an escape with Quim in ‘King of the Hill’ and discover a terrible secret hidden in the woods with ‘Shiver ‘


Alliance Française of Madras


7 & 9 p.m. pm daily

5th August

The Orphanage


Laura spent the happiest years of her childhood growing up in an orphanage by the seaside, cared for by the staff and fellow orphans whom she loved as brothers and sisters. Now, thirty years later, she returns with her husband Carlos and Simon, their 7-year-old son, with a dream of restoring and reopening the long abandoned orphanage as a home for disabled children. The new home and mysterious surroundings awaken Simon’s imagination and the boy starts to spin a web of fantastic tales and not-so-innocent games; a troubling web that begins to disturb.


6th August

The Page Turner


On the lines of a vintage Chabrol thriller,set within the milieu of classical music,this skillfully understated revenge drama from writer/ director Denis Dercourt is a cool and precise meditation on a young woman''s obsessive desire to confront a defining moment from her past.The young Mélanie has a special gift for the piano.She takes the Conservatory entrance exam,but fails after being distracted by the thoughtless behaviour of the chairperson of the jury, a well known concert pianist.Bitterly disappointed,Mélanie gives up the piano forever.
Ten years later,Mélanie (Déborah François),now working as an intern at a law firm,accepts an offer from a Mr. Fouchécourt to become a nanny to his young son.His wife Ariane (Catherine Frot),she discovers,is the woman who changed her life,and,after a hit-an-run accident,has lost her nerve.Madame Fouchécourt soon discovers Mélanie’s musical sensitivity and warms to her, and the young woman becomes her personal page turner.
This thought-provoking thriller, moving with icy deliberation, features absolutely stunning performances by Déborah François, who turned heads in The Child as the put-upon young mother, and seasoned French actress Catherine Frot.Director Denis Dercourt, a professional viola player, patiently builds his taut revenge story into a sinister crescendo,expertly selecting classical works that heighten the Hitchcockian sense of expectancy and tighten the screws of suspense,never releasing his assured grip on this fascinating study of what drives and motivates women.Stylish,subtle and often witty, The Page Turner boasts excellent performances from leads Catherine Frot (Me and My Sister) and Déborah François (The Child). It was the official selection for the ‘Un Certain Regard’ section of the 2006 Festival de Cannes and featured in the Contemporary World Cinema Programme section of the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival.


7th August

Crossed Tracks


Prolific and talented French director Claude Lelouch returns with an intriguing dramatic thriller that has garnered rave reviews around the globe.In the forty years since his Palme d’Or win at the Festival de Cannes for Un Homme Et Une Femme (A Man And A Woman) Lelouch’s reputation has been one of an eclectic filmmaker whose bent is towards romantic dramas. Here,however,he flexes his cinematic muscles with what is ultimately a three-handed dramatic thriller.Filled to the brim with false endings and red herrings,Lelouch’s adaptation and screenplay prove this is the work of a master Lelouch has gathered some of the best-known faces in French cinema for a taut, tense journey of suspense and second-guessing.
Wealthy,best-selling crime novelist Judith Ralitzer (an austere and stylish Fanny Ardant) laments the challenges of being a successful writer,but makes no mention of her ghostwriter, Louis (the always enigmatic Dominique Pinon).Huguette (delightful newcomer Audrey Dana) is abandoned by her boyfriend at a petrol station,only to find herself intrigued by a stranger who may or may not be Ralitzer’s ghostwriter,an errant schoolteacher who has left his wife,or a pedophile serial killer who has escaped from prison.
As Lelouch’s tale zigzags between these three characters, the narrative doubles back on itself time again and again,as we move from the present, to the past and the future. The film plays out like a poker game,and Lelouch keeps his cards close to his chest.The audience is never quite sure what is what and who is who,until the very last frame - surely,the mark of a great thriller.Perhaps in support of the genre,or perhaps to explore and challenge himself without the burden of his forty-year career,Lelouch helmed Crossed Tracks under the pseudonym Herve Picard,only revealing himself as director when the film screened at the 2007 Festival de Cannes.


8th August

King Of The Hill


Spanish filmmaker Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego weaves an intricate story of two hapless individuals who end up lost in a forest when a stranger fires bullets at them.
Quím, on his way to visit his girlfriend, travels through an isolated area in Spain. He makes a stop at a gas station, only to find the men’s washroom out of order. Quím uses the ladies washroom where he chances upon Bea, a mysterious, attractive woman. After a sexual encounter, Bea takes an opportunity to steal his wallet and escapes into the nearby woods. Quím chases after her and ends up lost. Searching for Bea, Quím is suddenly shot. As he makes his escape, he finds Bea, who is wounded as well. The seek out the police, who don’t quite believe their story; yet, as they go back to the hill, they soon realise that anyone who ventures near the mountain is sure to be targeted by the gun-toting stranger.


9th August



Shiver revolves around Santi (Junio Valverde), a 16-year-old suffering from XP, a disease that makes him acutely sensitive to sunlight. Life in Barcelona becomes difficult for him and he longs to leave. Best of all would be to move to Laponia, because the sun seldom shines on this northern Swedish town, and so life there, he is convinced, would be more bearable.
His mother Julia (Mar Sodupe) has different plans as she can’t afford moving to another country. She decides to move to Arrozas de Valdeon, a remote village in northern Spain, rarely penetrated by the sun’s rays on account of the high mountains that surround it.

Instead of the mountain idyll they so longed for, the two soon encounter an odd series of events. At first, animals begin to disappear – apparently by the influence of something unknown lurking in the nearby woods. And then one day a young boy is killed. Santi, who witnesses the boy’s death, soon becomes the prime suspect in the eyes of the villagers. Antonio, the local policeman, asks Julia to keep an eye on her son in order to avoid any more trouble. In the meantime, Santi begins to make friends. In order to prove his innocence, he and Angela(Blanca Suárez) decide to get to the bottom of the mystery that lies buried in the woods. They discover a wild girl whose parents died long before in tragic circumstances. And it turns out that some of the inhabitants of Arrozas de Valdeon are not as blameless as they would like to believe.

Directed by multiple-award winner Isidro Ortiz, Shiver screened at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival.



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