The French Film Festival launches after 2-year hiatus

The French Film Festival launches after 2-year hiatus

The annual event showcases the splendour of French culture and brings new innovations to this year’s programming

THE 20th Le French Film Festival (LFFF22) is underway with an expanded selection of the most outstanding movies from the European continent made in the past three years.

The festival’s opening title ‘Aline: The Voice of Love’ directed by Valérie Lemercier received 10 nominations at the Cesar Awards and won the Best Actress category, widely considered the highest film honour in France.

This year’s iteration brings a wider curation of events suitable for all age groups and interests from visual arts exhibitions, and classical concerts, to an extensive list of workshops and masterclasses on French cuisine.

In her opening address, Tengku Zatashah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, president of Alliance Francaise Kuala Lumpur, announced that this year’s presentation will include a special programme of movies suitable for children, under the banner “Le Petit Festival.”

The French Film Festival is the largest European film festival in Malaysia, and during its previous run in 2019, it reached 13,000 audiences in the country.

Beyond the special programme for children, the festival in partnership with streaming platform MUBI has curated a selection of 10 movies with the theme “Bewitching Outsiders”.

In an interview with The Vibes, H.E. Roland Galharague, Ambassador of France to Malaysia hopes the partnership Malaysia shares with France continues to strengthen through cultural exchanges.

He said: “There [have] always been exchanges between Malaysia and France in the field of cinema, and the French Film Festival represents only one facet of this cooperation. For example, ‘Sepet’ by Yasmin Ahmad, won the Grand Prix du Jury at the Créteil International Women’s Film Festival in 2005.

In 2021, several Malaysian filmmakers took part in training and masterclasses with French experts, thanks to a great joint project between Clermont-Ferrand Festival and SeaShorts.

In addition, some Malaysian films recently got support from the French programme ‘Cinémas du Monde’ (World’s cinemas) whose goal is to foster cultural diversity by providing funding for non-European films.”

Through his tenure as Ambassador of France to Malaysia, he has gotten to know Malaysian cinema more closely and hopes it gains a stronger foothold internationally.

“A lot of cinema buffs in France are fans of the films directed by P. Ramlee or Tsai Ming Liang, but there are a lot of talented young Malaysian directors nowadays such as Syamsul Yusof or Tan Chui Mui, whose works deserve to be better known abroad.

“I hope that it will be possible for even more of them to come and present their films [at] international festivals, in France in particular,” he points out. His recommendations for movies to look out for during the festival are ‘Delicious’, ‘Lost Illusions’ and ’16 Sunrises’.

The festival has partnered with GSC (Golden Screen Cinema) for the past twenty years since its inception. Its CEO, Koh Mei Lee, reiterates the sentiment by Galharague.

“The medium of movies and storytelling allows us to effectively bridge the unique cultures and lifestyles of France with Malaysia, as we promote understanding through our partnership with the Embassy of France and Alliance Francaise Malaise.

“Through Le French Film Festival, I hope Malaysian storytellers can seek to break from the mould to tell equally captivating, emotive, and unforgettably Malaysian stories that are best appreciated on the big screen,” she continues.

GSC Cinemas will continue to host and organise more film festivals such as the Japanese Film Festival, Czech Republic Film Festival, European Film Festival, Korean Film Festival and Latin American Film Festival all slotted for the second half of the year.

“It is my fervent hope that more Malaysians, especially students and young adults, will take this opportunity to discover the diversity and quality that international films have to offer through these film festivals,” Koh added.

The festival runs until June 26 in Kuala Lumpur, then moves to Penang and Johor Bahru before closing in Kota Kinabalu on July 17. Audiences can buy tickets to the movies by visiting select GSC Outlets.

The Vibes is offering free tickets to the line-up of movies during the festival period. To stand a chance of winning and for further details, follow The Vibes on Facebook and Instagram.

source – The Vibes

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