Celebrated director Philippe Lioret’s award-winning drama WELCOME is a compassionate and inspiring story about the hope of new beginnings and the power of love, centring on two couples contending with issues of separation and dislocation.
17-year-old Bilal has spent three months travelling across Europe, in an attempt to reunite with his girlfriend Mina, who has moved with her family to London. The long journey is almost over when he finally reaches the coast of France; the English channel is his last obstacle. But with all legal options exhausted, Bilal resolves that his only option is to make the crossing himself.
He seeks the help of middle-aged swimming instructor Simon (Vincent Lindon), who is privately reeling from impending divorce from his socially-conscious wife. In an effort to win her back, Simon impulsively – and somewhat uncharacteristically – risks everything by taking Bilal under his wing…
A huge critical & box office success in its native France, this subtle but profoundly moving masterwork was awarded both the Ecumenical Jury Prize and Europa Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival, named Best Film at the 2010 Lumiere Awards, and has received an astonishing ten César (French Oscar) nominations, including Best Film, Director and Actor. It’s a cinema experience not to be missed.