The Worst Ones directed by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret
The Worst Ones directed by Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret

Kino Lorber has acquired Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret’s sensitive and affecting drama The Worst Ones, which was awarded the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and will make its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this September. Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release in early 2023 followed by release on home video and all digital platforms, including Kino Now.

The feature debut of directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret, The Worst Ones explores themes previously introduced in their Cannes-winning 2016 short film Chasse Royale in its depiction of four local teenagers unexpectedly cast in a film in their working class French town. The film stars Mallory Wanecque, Timéo Mahaut, Johan Heldenbergh, Loic Pech, Mélina Vanderplancke, Esther Archambault, and Matthias Jacquin.

Set in the suburbs of Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France, The Worst Ones captures a film within a film as it follows the production of a feature film whose director turns to the local Cité Picasso housing project for casting. Eager to capture performances of gritty authenticity, the director selects four working class teenagers to act in the film to the surprise and consternation of the local community, who question the director’s choice of “the worst ones”. As the director and crew audition, rehearse, film, and interact with their hand-picked cast, jealousies are stoked, lines are crossed, and ethical questions arise, with thought-provoking and at times darkly funny results.

Watch a clip from The Worst Ones.

“We could not be happier that our movie is being distributed in the US and has the opportunity to be seen by the American public,” said directors Lisa Akoka and Romane Gueret. “We hope that viewers will be touched by the universal message of the film, although it is deeply based in the north of France. We are also honored that the movie is being distributed by the amazing Kino Lorber, which has distributed some of the best French filmmakers and more globally the new generation of innovative cinema.”

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