Premiere - Asphalt City : A moving premiere in the presence of the director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire

By Mulder, Paris, UGC Ciné-Cité Les Halles, 17 march 2024

Tonight, the UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles shone brightly for the eagerly-awaited premiere of Asphalt City, in the presence of director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire. The Parisian public, always eager for cinematic discoveries, had the privilege of plunging into this poignant universe, carried by a star-studded cast including Sean Penn, Tye Sheridan and many others.

Before the screening, director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire gave the audience a moving, personal introduction to the challenges of the shoot and the inspirations behind this ambitious project. Based on the novel Asphalt City by Shannon Burke, the film explores the brutal realities of the paramedic profession through the eyes of Ollie Cross, played by Tye Sheridan, a young New York ambulance driver who, alongside Gene Rutkovsky, a seasoned ER doctor played by Sean Penn, faces the daily challenges of their profession.

After the screening, which captivated the audience with its realism and sensitivity, a question-and-answer session enabled the audience to deepen their understanding of the film and its issues. Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, responding with sincerity and passion, stressed the importance of recognizing the dedication and sacrifices of paramedics, who are often overlooked by the general public. Asphalt City, renamed Asphalt City for its U.S. theatrical release, has already made a splash at its world premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, where it competed for the Palme d'Or. 

The Paris premiere of Asphalt City was a moment to celebrate cinema, but also an opportunity to reflect on the often harsh realities faced by frontline healthcare professionals. The evening will be remembered not only as a tribute to the talent of Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire and his team, but also as a reminder of the power of cinema to raise awareness.

Ollie Cross, a young New York ambulance driver, teams up with Gene Rutkovsky, an experienced emergency doctor. Confronted with the violent realities of their daily lives, he discovers the risks of a profession that daily shakes his certainties and leaves him no respite.

Asphalt City
Directed by Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
Written by Ryan King, Ben Mac Brown
Based on Asphalt City by Shannon Burke
Produced by Warren Goz, Eric Gold, Christopher Kopp, Lucan Toh, Sean Penn, John Ira Palmer, John Wildermuth, Tye Sheridan, Tina Wang
Starring Sean Penn, Tye Sheridan, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Raquel Nave, Kali Reis, Michael Pitt, Katherine Waterston, Mike Tyson
Cinematography : David Ungaro
Edited by Saar Klein, Katherine McQuerrey
Music by Nicolas Becker, Quentin Sirjacq
Production companies: Sculptor Media, FilmNation Entertainment, Projected Picture Works, AZA Films, Two & Two Pictures, Dogwood Pictures
Distributed by Vertical Entertainment, Roadside Attractions (United States), Metropolitan FilmExport (France)
Release dates : May 18, 2023 (Cannes); March 29, 2024 (United States), April 3 2024 (France)
Running time : 120 minutes

Photos and videos : Boris Colletier