Even before The Artist made a big splash by becoming the French film that was the global one to watch this year, there were others from France that were being praised around the world. Like Intouchables which was a box-office record-breaking piece of cinema.
Although these two films have run their courses on the international and local circuits, they aren’t the only films you can feast your eyes on. You can get yourself to the French Film Festival In South Africa, presented by Ster Kinekor, this month.
Until August 26, the films will travel the country and be screened in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pretoria, Joburg and Cape Town. Running for the second year in the country, the festival has attracted the attention of French citizens living in SA, French-speaking Africans and movie lovers in general (thanks to the subtitles).
The line-up of films ranges from kooky to classic and even controversial. Much like the screening of Black Venus (the imagined story of Sarah Baartman), which incited much debate among those who saw the movie last year.
This second edition of the French Film Festival In South Africa will show some of the finest French contemporary cinema.
Celebrated guests (such as directors) will be in attendance at the opening screenings of the various comedies, dramas and other film genres.
In a bid to try to build and strengthen ties between the South African and the French film industries, there will be a retrospective of films by Claire Denis whose work has long been associated with Africa.
Acclaimed Mzansi director, Ramadan Suleman, will also screen one of his films, Lettre d’Amour Zoulou (Zulu Love Letter).
The festival’s opening film is Benoit Jacquot’s Les Adieux à la Reine (Farewell My Queen) and the director will attend the Joburg and Pretoria opening nights.
Other films include Angèle et Tony (Angel and Tony) which is directed by Alix Delaporte; Poulet aux Prunes (Chicken with Plums) by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud as well as Les Bien-Aimés (Beloved), which is the work of Christophe Honoré.
You can also see Valérie Donzelli’s La Guerre est Déclarée (Declaration of War), Americano by Mathieu Demy and L’amour Dure Trois Ans (Love Lasts Three Years) which is directed by Frédéric Beigbeder. Don’t miss out.
• Catch the French Film Festival In South Africa at the V&A Waterfront Nouveau in Cape Town until Sunday, the opening at the Alexander Theatre and the rest of the fest at Rosebank Nouveau in Joburg from August 8 to 12, the Brooklyn Nouveau in Pretoria from August 9 to 12, Port Elizabeth’s Ster Kinekor The Bridge from August 15 to 18 and Durban’s Ster Kinekor Musgrave from August 23 to 26.
For more info, call 082 16789.