Press Release | 19 Apr 2024


The Animal Kingdom

A film by Thomas Cailley

Exclusive release at Ciné Lumière from 2 May 2024


The Animal Kingdom (Le Règne animal), starring Romain Duris, Paul Kircher and Adèle Exarchopoulos is released exclusively at Ciné Lumière from 2 May. The screening on 2 May will be followed by a virtual Q&A with Thomas Cailley.

In this long-awaited follow-up to his debut Les Combattants, writer-director Thomas Cailley offers a visionary flight of imagination on the relation between humans, animals and nature.

The Animal Kingdom “follows the relationship between a young man of 16 and his father at a time when, all over the world, the ‘animal instincts’ of humans are awakening like a dormant gene, disturbing the invisible boundary between Humanity and ‘Nature’”, says Thomas Cailley.

Selected in the Un Certain Regard Section of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and nominated for Best Feature Film at the European Film Awards 2023, The Animal Kingdom won 5 César awards (including Best costume and visual effects).

“With the current ecological emergency, I believe it is vital to invent new narratives that explore our interactions with the rest of the living world. Not so much to rehash post-apocalyptic or end-of-the-world narratives that wind up repeating themselves, but to imagine new frontiers. The idea of human-animal mutation allows us to approach this question from a concrete, physical angle, in the bodies of the characters themselves. Not through the prism of inevitable collapse or another post-apocalyptic story but through the portrayal of a vital, violent and creative impulse.” Thomas Cailley




In the near future, a mysterious phenomenon strikes humanity, and unexplained mutations gradually transform parts of the population into human-animal hybrids. The creatures, considered a threat by many, are sent to specialised centre in an attempt to stop their mutations from progressing and to control their apparent violent tendencies.


When a convoy bringing hybrids to a new facility crash in a forest, paranoia spreads in the local community as the surviving creatures scatter into the wild. François and his 16-year-old son Emile embark on a desperate search for his missing wife Lena who disappeared after the crash. As François clings to the family’s past, he progressively loses his grip on Emile, who has started to notice transformations in his own body, leaving his fate increasingly uncertain. But as he secretly bonds with creatures he met in the forest, Emile opens his eyes to their humanity, leaving him and his father forever changed as the authorities close in.



Romain Duris, Paul Kircher and Adèle Exarchopoulos



Watch the trailer



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Press Release

Production Notes