Monday, January 18, 2016

6th My French Film Festival

The most famous online festival in the net opens today with a lineup of French films that -for the first time- find extremely interesting (finally!). Ten (10) feature films and ten shorts are in the competition section but there are more films in the selection.

The festival runs for a month, from January 18 to February 18 and is available around the world via VOD in the festival site or in 90 countries via iTunes. Also films will be available in theaters near you (check website for locations) and on airplanes.

Festival as a competition has gained more credibility with the addition of the filmmakers jury plus award for the three different juries. Now the awards are the Chopard Filmmakers Prize, the Lacoste Audience Award and the International Press Prize. The juries for the Chopard Filmmakers' Prize and the International Press Prize will meet in Paris during the festival to elect the winning films. The prize-winning films will be screened on Air France flights for a period of 6 months starting in July 2016.

As in the previous editions, all of the short films can be viewed free of charge in all countries and will offer feature films free viewing in Latin America, India, Poland, Russia, Africa, and Romania.

Most interesting are the educational support the fest provides to teachers of French as a foreign language. In this edition there are materials for 8 films and if you're interested in improve your French go here to download the materials.

The Selection this year is presented by sections and no, it's not clearly stated which films are in competition as in the film sections there are 12 films with no specific info. Then we can see that one, the restored version has to be out of competition; while another, the one produced in 2013, suspect it's also not in competition, which leaves us with 10 films in competition. Maybe I'm right but there is no way yet to confirm it.

Update: Today, January 19, 2016 this photo-composition was published, and assume that these are the 10 films in competition.

Feature Films

French Kiss
Even if nobody knows whether or not the French kiss was invented in France, we do know that it has been refined to a certain level of perfection. A kiss shared by two or even three people, between women, between lovers... there's something to please all tastes!

À trois on y va (All About them), Jérôme Bonnell, France and Bellgium, 2015
La Belle Saison (Summertime), Catherine Corsini, France and Belgium, 2015
Les Châteaux de sable (Sand Castles), Olivier Jahan, France, 2015
Henri Henri, Martin Talbot, Canada, 2014

In Your Face
Through the years, French-language cinema has always managed to reinvent itself through an exploration of transgressive themes and aesthetic approaches. The "In Your Face" Section will knock you out!

Alléluia (Alleluia), Fabrice du Welz, Belgium and France, 2015
Un Français (French Blood), Diastème, France, 2015

Paris Comedy
Paris is by no means a sleepy museum city, nor is it just a town for tourists. No way! The true Parisians, the artists, intellectuals, and even the grouchy locals fall in love in stunning apartments, in the streets, at the theater, or when visiting museums... How French is that?

20 ans d'écart (It Boy), David Moreau, France, 2013
Caprice, Emmanuel Mouret, France, 2015
Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément (Blind Date), Clovis Cornillac, France 2015

Crime Scene
If France is the land of lovers and artists, it is also the theater of terrifying crimes. Deep in the countryside in the midst of a heat wave or in Paris in the dark of night, danger is in every direction.

L'Affaire SK1 ( SK1), Frédéric Tellier, France, 2014
Coup de chaud (Heatwave), Raphaël Jacoulot, France and Belgium, 2015
*Ascenseur pour l'échafaud - version restaurée (Elevator to The Gallows - restored version), Louis Malle, France, 1957

*Cinemas, Cinemas
A documentary on what actors and directors from around the world think about French cinema, another one about the status of women in movie-making today… two highly instructive and refreshing documentaries are on the program this year!

Cinéast(e)s, Mathieu Busson y Julie Gayet, France, 2014
French Cinema mon amour, Damien Cabrespines y Anne-Solen Douguet, France, 2015

*Out of Competition

Check the outstanding Filmmakers' Jury for this edition
President: Nicolas Winding Refn, Denmark
David Robert Mitchell, USA
Felix van Groeningen, France
Marjani Satrapi, France
Valérie Donzelli, France

Short Films

If there's one country in the world whose animated films are taking the world by storm at this time, it's France! This year, to illustrate French animated filmmakers' savoir faire, we present a selection of the best animated shorts to be seen right now.

Le Repas dominical (Sunday Lunch), Céline Devaux
H recherche F (M Seeking W), Marina Moshkova
Dernière Porte au sud (Last Door South), Sacha Feiner

Lost Generation
While young French filmmakers are often overflowing with talent and promise, they sometimes portray a sad reality: that of an aimless and tormented youth… a lost generation.

Errance (The Wanderer), Peter Dourountzis
Essaie de mourir jeune (Try to Die Young), Morgan Simon
Toutes des connes (Life's a Bitch), François Jaros

Women's Tales
Not only are women more and more active behind the camera nowadays, but they are also even more present in front of the lens. 5 short films showcase 5 portraits of women today.

Belle Gueule (Summer of Sarah), Emma Benestan
Au sol (Grounded), Alexis Michalik
La Fin du dragon (The Dragon's Demise), Marina Diaby
Les Filles (Girls), Alice Douard
Jeunesse des loups garous (Monsters turn into Lovers), Yann Delattre

To check info about each of the films go here but will do a brief analysis to help you chose what to see.

First let me share that each year what I watch first are the short films, all in one sitting, not only they're free but in previous editions short films have been a lot better than feature films in the selection. Then comes the careful selection of what to see as most of you know my deep love for French cinema BUT it's not for all French cinema as I like French cinema that can be labeled as auteurs cinema, art-house cinema, great cinema or simply the good non-commercial cinema (lol!).

Current edition has some interesting films but none as interesting and must-be-seen as La Belle Saison by Catherine Corsini with Cécile De France, film premiered at 2015 Locarno fest where won the Variety Piazza Grande Award and had the North American premiere at Toronto fest. Film has 5 nominations at Les Lumières and I expect will also get some César nominations.

Next we have Alléluia by Fabrice Du Welz with none other than Lola Dueñas. Film premiered at 2014 Cannes Directors' Fortnight and not sure if will enjoy it (suspect will be not-easy-to-watch), but definitively will give it a chance. The third must-be-seen film is the 2015 Cannes in competition for a Palm d'Or short film by Céline Devaux, Les Repas Dominical (Sunday Lunch) that won the Silver Hugo for Best Animated Short at 2015 Chicago fest.

Because highly enjoy lead actress performances have to see À trois on y va by Jérôme Bonnell starring none other than Anaïs Demoustier. Film premiered at 2015 Moscow fest, was at 2015 Karlovy Vary and recently was at Göteborg fest. Believe film could be light but since when a three-way French film is light? LOL! Yes, must-be-seen for me. Then there is another film with Anaïs Demoustier, Caprice by Emmanuel Mouret but it's a comedy so not really sure if will watch it (yes, highly dislike French comedies).

Last but not least, MyFrenchFilmFestival (MyFFF) is also on the following places.

Twitter: @myfff  with hashtag #myFFF2016

The very silly official trailer

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