Films from French-speaking cultures around the world, including South Louisiana, will receive a rare American screening during the 22nd annual New Orleans French Film Festival, Friday through Feb. 21 at the Prytania Theatre.

It’s a golden opportunity for cinema fans to binge-watch contemporary French films representing Francophone nations as diverse as Haiti, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland. Foreign-language films typically don’t receive wide theatrical distribution in the United States.

“Granted, you’ve got streaming services that are hungry for content, but even they shy away from foreign-language films," said festival co-programmer John Desplas.

Festival passes and single tickets are available at neworleansfilmsociety.org.

This year’s highlights include “Custody” (“Jusqu'à la garde”), a drama that’s nominated for 10 César Awards (France’s Academy Awards equivalent); the new film from 88-year-old French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard, “The Image Book”; and the world premiere of “On va continuer!” (We Will Continue”), a documentary about the Grammy-winning Cajun band Lost Bayou Ramblers.

“There’s no better place for ‘On va continuer!’ to have its world premiere,” said Lizzie Guitreau, production chief at Worklight Pictures in New Orleans. “The Lost Bayou Ramblers have a big audience in New Orleans and Lafayette. And to show the film here first feels great because all the people here who supported us through the making of the film can see it on their home turf.”

Guitreau and “On va continuer!” director Bruno Doria helped finance “On va continuer” through a Kickstarter campaign and a $30,000 French Culture Film Grant from #CreateLouisiana. A great example of local filmmakers tackling a local subject, “On va continuer!” brings French Louisiana to the French Film Festival.

“Everyone who put effort into this movie is a Louisiana resident,” Guitreau said. “Every day of filming — with the exception of two days in New York for the Grammy Awards — happened here. It’s a 100-percent Louisiana movie. And the Lost Bayou Ramblers — you can’t get more Louisiana than that. They’re living the real deal.”

“On va continuer!” expresses the significance Cajun-French culture has for Ramblers co-founders Louis and Andre Michot through words, music and celebratory images.

“It’s such a unique culture,” Guitreau said. “It really feels kind of magical. Hopefully, the documentary gives a taste of it.”

In addition to new films from 12 countries, the French Film Festival is screening restorations of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 classic, “Beauty and the Beast” (“La Belle et la Bête”) and the once-banned 1966 drama “The Nun” (“La Religieuse”).

This year's event also features the largest number of directors in attendance in the festival’s history.

“Meeting the directors always adds a lot to the screenings,” Desplas said. “We hope we’ll have more of that in coming years.”

Four prescreening musical performances will be staged in collaboration with Krewe du Kanaval, the krewe recently founded by Preservation Hall’s Ben Jaffe and Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne.

“Music helps make the screenings even more of a special occasion,” Desplas said.

Screenings

“Gaspard at the Wedding” (“Gaspard va au marriage”): Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Title character Gaspard grew up in a family that kept tigers, monkeys and bears. After years of avoiding his family, Gaspard attends his father’s wedding with Laura, a woman he’s just met. Director Antony Cordier will attend.

“Claire’s Camera” (“La caméra de Claire”): Saturday and Monday, noon.

Veteran French actress Isabelle Huppert stars as a music teacher at the Cannes Film Festival who possesses a camera that may be magical.

 “Out of Chaos: An Artist’s Journey in Haiti” (“Sorti du chaos: un voyage d’artiste en Haiti”): Saturday, 1:45 p.m.

In Port-au-Prince, transmedia artist and director Pascal Giacomini collaborates with Vodou practitioners and artists to construct large metal sculptures made from materials gathered from the streets. Giacomini will attend.

“A Faithful Man” (“L’Homme Fidèle”): Saturday, 4 p.m.

Nine years after Marianne (Laetitia Casta) leaves journalist Abel (Louis Garrel) to marry his best friend, the former couple reunites following Marianne’s husband’s death.

My Son” (“Mon garçon”): Sunday, 5:45 p.m.

After a man’s constant travel for work sabotages his marriage, his son disappears during a school camping trip.

“Wild” (“Sauvage”): Saturday, 7:45 p.m.

Félix Maritaud plays Leo, a young male prostitute in Strausbourg. Existing in a world of drugs and fleeting encounters though he does, Leo longs for meaningful connection. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU8dwjRsO4g)

Yellow is Forbidden”: Sunday and Wednesday, noon

Veteran documentarian Pietra Brettkelly depicts Chinese designer Pei Guo’s drive, artistry, meticulousness and emergence on the international scene.

 “The Nun” (“La Religieuse”): Sunday, 2:15 p.m. and Tuesday, noon

This once-banned drama stars Anna Karina as a young woman forced to become a nun. Based on 18th-century novel by Denis Diderot.

“1999”: Sunday, 5 p.m.

In the late 1990s, a rash of suicides rock a small town in French-speaking Canada. Afterward, collective grief is internalized and children learn to express their desire to live. Director Samara Grace Chadwick will attend.

“On va continuer!” (We Will Continue”): Sunday, 7:45 p.m. and Tuesday, 6 p.m.

This 50-minute documentary about the Cajun band Lost Bayou Ramblers covers the band’s origins, dedication to Cajun-French culture and the making of the Grammy-winning “Kalenda.” Director Bruno Doria will attend the screening, and the Lost Bayou Ramblers will perform.

Short film program: Monday, 5:45 p.m.

“Fauve”: In this Oscar-nominated film set in a surface mine, two boys plunge into a power game.

“Upset Body” (“Corps Contrarié”): An independent young woman who believes she is in control of her life meets unexpected challenges.

“The Ties That Bind” (“Ce qui nous tient”): In the Normandy countryside, 15-year-old Alex returns home from boarding school to his grieving family.

“The Competition” (“Le Concours”): Monday, 7:15 p.m.

Director Claire Simon documents the monthslong process for admission to France’s most selective film school. Simon will participate in a Q&A following the screening.

“Custody” (“Jusqu'à la garde”): Tuesday, 8 p.m., and Thursday, Feb. 21 at noon

The divorced Miriam and Antoine both seek sole custody of their son, Julien. The film has received 10 César Award nominations.

“Beauty and the Beast” (“La Belle et la Bête”): Sunday and Wednesday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.

Jean Cocteau’s 1946 adaptation of Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s fairy tale about a young woman who captures the heart of a magical beast.

“A Sense of Place” (“La sens de sa place”): Wednesday, Feb. 20, 6 p.m.

A linguist, restaurant owner and student express what the American dream means to them. Featuring music by New Orleans musician Sarah McCoy. Director Bruno Moynié will attend.

“Sorry Angel” (“Plaire, aimer et courir vite”): Wednesday, Feb. 20, 7:45 p.m.

Unpredictable director Christophe Honoré (“Love Songs”) returns with a personal, emotional romance set in the gay community of early 1990s France.

“The Image Book” (“Le livre d’image”): Thursday, Feb. 21, 5:30 p.m.

French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard assembles a cinema collage of manipulated fragments and clips from great films.

“Nonfiction” (”Doubles Vies”): Thursday, Feb. 21, 7:45 p.m.

Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet reunite with director Olivier Assayas (“Personal Shopper”) for a tale of sex, lies and literature. Set in the Parisian publishing world, the film follows the fallout created by a novelist who recklessly blurs fact and fiction.