Hors Normes (The Specials) in the world of young people with autism

Picture of the movie Hors Normes ( The Specials ) © Carole Bethuel / Quad - Ten Cinéma

"We won't call it the closing film any more." For the Festival's final screening, the new film by Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache will end the Official Selection with a bang. For this last screening, the selection committee has chosen the feature film Hors Normes (The Specials) for its première screening at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, after the Awards ceremony.

In this social comedy, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache (Intouchables (The Intouchables) in 2011, Nos jours heureux (Those Happy Days) in 2006 and Le Sens de la fête (C'est la Vie) in 2017) tell the story of Bruno and Malik, in charge of two separate non-profit organizations for children and adolescents with autism. These volunteers train young people from underprivileged areas to be caregivers for extreme cases. 

“A remarkable alliance for special personalities.”

Once again, the French directors were inspired by reality to write the script for Hors Normes (The Specials). An encounter 25 years ago with Stéphane Benhamou, the director of an association specialised in taking in children and adolescents with autism and helping them to integrate into the community was the point of departure for the concept of this film. To do it with such humanity, they immersed themselves in the milieu of two associations for two years. The directors point out that "The scenes in the film were all actual lived experiences."

Alongside the actors Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Best Director Award in 1995, Irréversible (Irreversible) in Competition in 2002 and Mon Roi (My King) in Competition in 2015) and Reda Kateb (Un Prophète (A Prophet), Grand Prix in 2009) Toledano and Nakache wanted to include the actual support workers and individuals with autism in this film, which blends reality and fiction. For the duo, making Hors Normes (The Specials) "became over time a necessity." The film will be released in cinemas in France next October 23.