September 22 only

A Q&A with director Robert Arnold will follow the screening.


Lydia is in anguish over her breakup with Frank. Haunted, sleepless, and desperate, she agrees to a blind date set up by a friend. The man she meets, a handsome actor, is used to having women fall in love with him. Attracted by his intelligence and naive gamesmanship, Lydia enters into a deadly serious bargain with the actor: he will try to make her fall in love with him and she will do whatever he asks. As they perform the actions of two people in love, they are entangled in the dynamics of frustrated desire.

The Exchange is an homage to dialogue-driven French films in the tradition of Jean Eustache, Eric Rohmer and Maurice Pialat. Written by an American, Cynthia Mitchell, the screenplay was first translated into French and directed for the stage by Rachel Krief. After its run on the stage in Paris, Krief, Mitchell, and American producer/director Robert Arnold decided to collaborate on this film adaptation, which was shot in Paris and Normandy. The film is about the relation between love and performance, on and off stage.

A film by Cynthia Mitchell, Robert Arnold & Rachel Krief. 2016. 79 min. In French and English with subtitles. DCP.

The Exchange – Teaser from Lateral Films on Vimeo.

About the filmmakers

Robert Arnold is a filmmaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His 2007 feature-length documentary, The Key of G, won the Golden Gate Award for Best Bay Area Feature Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and aired nationally on PBS. Since 2009, he has been making narrative films with Cynthia Mitchell, including the short films Annabelle (2012) and All Animals (2009), which won the Director’s Choice Award at the San Francisco International Festival of Short Films 2009. His most recent film with Mitchell is The Exchange (2016), a narrative feature.

Cynthia Mitchell is a writer, painter, and filmmaker based in Montreal. Her play The Exchange was translated into French and performed at the 2008 Festival off d’Avignon and later at the Funambule Montmartre in Paris.

Rachel Krief is a photographer, dramatist, and filmmaker living in Paris. She translated and staged Cynthia Mitchell’s The Exchange in Avignon and Paris. Her short films include D.ieu Dit : “Abandonne Moi, Mais Etudie…” (2010) and Linda (2011).


THE EXCHANGE: Upcoming Showtimes